Skip to main content

Full text of "The grandeur that was Rome : a survey of Roman culture and civilization"

See other formats








" Mr. Stohart does a real service when he gives the reading but 
non-expert public this fine volume, embodying the latest results of 
research, blending them, too, into as agreeable a narrative as we 
have met with for a long while. . . . There is not a dull line in his 
book. He has plenty of humour, as a writer needs must have who 
is to deal with men from the human standpoint. . . . It is beautifully 
produced, and the plates, both in colour and monochrome, are as 
numerous and well-chosen as they are striking and instructive." 

" Mr. Stobart has produced the very book to show the modern 
barbarian the meaning of Hellenism. He exhibits the latest dis- 
coveries from Cnossus and elsewhere, the new-found masterpieces 
along with the old. He criticises and appraises the newest theories, 
ranging from the influence of malaria to the origins of drama. He 
has something for everybody. . . . The book is nobly illustrated . . . 
no such collection of beautiful things of this kind has yet been placed 
before the English public." THE SATURDAY REVIEW. 

" He really helps to make ancient Greece a living reality ; and the 
illustrations, a conspicuous feature of the book, are good and well 
selected, the photographic views gaining much from the reproduc- 
tion on a dull-surfaced paper." TIMES. 

" A more beautiful book than this has rarely been printed. . . . 
The pictures of Greek scenery, sculpture, vases, etc., are exceptionally 

" No better guide through the labyrinth of things Hellenic has 
appeared in our day, and both brush and camera yield of their 
choicest to make the book an enduring joy."- DAILY CHRONICLE. 

" A vivid picture of a wonderful civilisation which should fire many 
to further studies." SHEFFIELD DAILY TELEGRAPH. 


, 'lilt/11. 

, ' 



A Survey of Roman Culture 
and Civilisation : by 

J. C. Stobart, M.A. 




3 Adam Street, Adelphi 

All rights reserved 









THIS book is a continuation of "The Glory that was Greece," 
written with the same purpose and from the same point of 

The point of view is that of humanity and the progress of 
civilisation. The value of Rome's contribution to the lasting 
welfare of mankind is the test of what is to be emphasised or 
neglected. Hence the instructed reader will find a deliberate 
attempt to adjust the historical balance which has, I venture to 
think, been unfairly deflected by excessive deference to literary 
and scholastic traditions. The Roman histories of the nine- 
teenth century were wont to stop short with the Republic, 
because " Classical Latin " ceased with Cicero and Ovid. They 
followed Livy and Tacitus in regarding the Republic as the 
hey-day of Roman greatness, and the Empire as merely a dis- 
tressing sequel beginning and ending in tragedy. From the 
standpoint of civilisation this is an absurdity. The Republic 
was a mere preface. The Republic until its last century did 
nothing for the world, except to win battles whereby the road 
was opened for the subsequent advance of civilisation. Even 
the stern tenacity of the Roman defence against Hannibal, 
admirable as it was, can only be called superior to the still 
more heroic defence of Jerusalem by the Jews, because the 
former was successful and the latter failed. From the Republican 
standpoint Rome is immeasurably inferior to Athens. In 
short, what seemed important and glorious to Livy will not 
necessarily remain so after the lapse of nearly two thousand 
years. Rome is so vast a fact, and of consequences so far- 
reaching, that every generation may claim a share in interpreting 



her anew. There is the Rome of the ecclesiastic, of the 
diplomat, of the politician, of the soldier, of the economist. 
There is the Rome of the literary scholar, and the Rome of 
the archaeologist. 

It is wonderful how this mighty and eternal city varies 
with her various historians. Diodorus of Sicily, to whom we 
owe most of her early history, was seeking mainly to flatter 
the claims of the Romans to a heroic past. Polybius, the 
trained Greek politician of the second century B.C., was writing 
Roman history in order to prove to his fellow-Greeks his 
theory of the basis of political success. Livy was seeking 
a solace for the miseries of his own day in contemplating the 
virtues of an idealised past. Tacitus, during an interval of 
mitigated despotism, strove to exhibit the crimes and follies of 
autocracy. These were both rhetoricians, trained in the 
school of Greek democratic oratory. Edward Gibbon, too 
(I write as one who cannot change trains at Lausanne without 
emotion), saw the Empire from the standpoint of eighteenth- 
century liberalism and materialism. Theodor Mommsen made 
Rome the setting for his Bismarckian Caesarism, and finally, 
M. Boissier has enlivened her by peopling her streets with 
Parisians. It is, in fact, difficult to depict so huge a landscape 
without taking and revealing an individual point of view. 
There is always something fresh to see even in the much- 
thumbed records of Rome. 

Although a large part of this book is written directly from 
the original sources, and none of it without frequent reference 
to them, it is, in the main, frankly a derivative history intended 
for readers who are not specialists. Except Pelham's Outlines, 
which are almost exclusively political, there is no other book 
in English, so far as I am aware, which attempts to give a 
view of the whole course of ancient Roman History within 
the limits of a single volume, and yet the Empire without the 
Republic is almost as incomplete as the Republic without the 
Empire. As for the Empire, although nothing can supersede 
or attempt to replace The Decline and Fall, yet the scholar's 


outlook on the history of the Empire has been greatly changed 
since Gibbon's day by the discovery of Pompeii and the study 
of inscriptions. Therefore while I fully admit my obligations 
to Gibbon and Mommsen (as well as to Dill, Pelham, Bury, 
Haverfield, Greenidge, Warde Fowler, Cruttwell, Sellar, 
Walters, Rice Holmes, and Mrs. Strong, and to Ferrero, Pais, 
Boissier, Seeck, Bernheim, Mau, Becker, and Friedlander) this 
book professes to be something more than a compilation, 
because it has a point of view of its own. 

The pictures are an integral part of my scheme. It is not 
possible with Rome, as it was with Greece, to let pictures and 
statues take the place of wars and treaties. Wars and treaties 
are an essential part of the Grandeur of Rome. They should 
have a larger place here, were they less well known, and were 
there less need to redress a balance. But the pictures are 
chosen so that the reader's eye may be able to gather its own 
impression of the Roman genius. When the Roman took pen 
in hand he was usually more than half a Greek, but sometimes 
in his handling of bricks and mortar he revealed himself. For 
this reason and because I must confess not to be a convinced 
admirer of "Roman Art" there is an attempt to make the 
illustrations convey an impression of grand building, vast, solid, 
and utilitarian, rather than of finished sculpture by Greek 
hands. Pictures can produce this impression far more power- 
fully than words. Standing in the Colosseum or before the 
solid masonry of the Porta Nigra at Trier, one has seemed to 
come far closer to the heart of the essential Roman than ever 
in reading Vergil or Horace. The best Roman portraits are 
strangely illuminating. 

I have to acknowledge with gratitude the permission given 
me by the Director of the Koniglichen Messbildanstalt of the 
Royal Museum at Berlin to reproduce four of the magnificent 
photographs of Dr. O. Puchstein's discoveries at Ba'albek. I 
am indebted also to Herr Georg Reimer, of Berlin, for allowing 
me to reproduce four of the complete series of Reliefs from 
Trajan's Column published by him in heliogravure under the 



care of Professor Cichorius. The coloured plate of the interior 
of the House of Livia is reproduced by permission of the 
German Archaeological Institute from Luckenbach's Kunst 
und Geschichte (grosse Ausgabe, erster Teil); and from the 
same work I have been allowed to reproduce the reconstruc- 
tion of the Roman Forum in the time of Caesar. Professor 
Garstang has kindly supplied a photograph, with permission to 
reproduce of the bronze head of Augustus discovered by him at 
Meroe and recently presented to the British Museum. The 
Cambridge University Press has allowed me to give two 
pictures from Prof. Ridgeway's Early Age of Greece ; and the 
photograph of the Alcantara Bridge was kindly supplied by Sr. 
D. Miguel Utrillo, of Barcelona. The majority of photographs 
have been supplied by Messrs. W. A. Mansell and Co. ; but 
for many subjects, especially of Roman remains outside Italy, 
I must acknowledge my indebtedness to a number of amateur 
photographers, who not only avoid the hackneyed point of view 
but also achieve a high level of technique. Sir Alexander 
Binnie has kindly permitted the inclusion of eight photographs 
and Mr. C. T. Carr of four ; while I must also make acknow- 
ledgment to Miss Carr, Mr. R. C. Smith, and Miss K. P. Blair. 
As before, I am much indebted to Mr. Arnold Gomme for 
his assistance with the proofs. 

J. C. S. 























INDEX 329 



The cameo on the front cover of this volume is from a 
sardonyx head of Germanicus in the Carlisle collection. 




Engraved by Emery Walker from a photograph by Bruckmann of the 
original in the Glyptothek, Munich. An idealised portrait of the 
emperor in middle life. He wears the corona civica. See p. 169 


" CLYTIE " 248 

Engraved by Emery Walker from a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the 
original marble in the British Museum. An idealised portrait-bust of 
a lady of the imperial family, possibly Antonia, the work of a Greek 
artist of the Augustan Age. The name " Clytie " has no authority : the 
frame of petals is purely decorative 




From a photograph by Anderson. The view is taken from the Capitol, 
looking S.E. at the Arch of Titus, on the left of which part of the 
Colosseum is visible. The background on the right is filled by the 
Palatine Hill and the substructures of Caligula's Palace, in front of which 
the walls of the Temple of Augustus are visible. To the right of the 
middle are three columns and part of the entablature of the Temple of 
Castor. In the centre is the Column of Phocas. The foreground is 
occupied by the Arch of Severus (1.) the Temple of Saturn (r.) and two 
Corinthian columns of the Temple of Vespasian 


From a photograph by Anderson. The ruined arches belonged to the 
Aqueduct of Claudius. See p. 293 


From a photograph by Anderson. Modern view showing a typical 
hill-town or arx. Spoletium is chiefly famous in ancient history for its 
gallant repulse of Hannibal in 217 B.C. 





From a photograph by Anderson of the original bronze in the Palace of 
the Conservatori, Rome. The wolf herself is ancient, probably of 
Etruscan workmanship. See p. 18 

5 (Fig. i) ARCHAIC BRONZE : " PAN " zo 

Primitive Etruscan work. A horned and bearded god 

From photographs by Mansell & Co. of the originals in the British 
Museum, showing the development of Etruscan bronze-work 


Drawn from Vase F. 488 in the Etruscan Room, British Museum. A 
curiously debased design, which like much of Etruscan art suggests 
unintelligent copying of Greek models 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the original in the Terra-cotta 
Room, British Museum. The reader will notice the close resemblance 
of this work, particularly the relief depicting the battle and the mourners, 
to Greek relief -work of the sixth century B.C. 


From a photograph by Anderson. The remains of Roman tombs may be 
seen on each side of the road 


| From photographs by C. T. Carr. The scene of the famous battle of 
217 B.C., in which Hannibal ambushed the Roman army on the shores 
of the lake 


TORE "] 56 

From a photograph by Alinari of the original bronze statue in the 
Archaeological Museum, Florence. One of the rare examples of early 
republican portraiture, found near Lake Trasimene, a statue of Aulus 
Metilius (unknown to history) in the guise of an orator. It is assigned 
to the end of the third century B.C., and is said to represent the transition 
between Etruscan and Roman portraiture. I think, however, that it 
would be true to describe it as a Roman head, probably copied from a 
death-mask, upon a Greek body. Where is the Etruscan element ? 


From a photograph by Brogi of the original bronze in the Naples 
Museum. The authenticity of the portrait cannot be guaranteed, but 
it is a fine example of Republican portraiture 


Possibly imported from Greece 


From photographs by Mansell & Co. of the originals in the British 
Museum. These two bronze statuettes show the essential similarity of 
Roman and Etruscan (or Greek) armour, which consists mainly of a 
cuirass of leather plated with metal 





From photographs of the original in the British Museum. The scabbard 
is in the scale of I : 4. The sword was only 21 in. long and z in. at 
the greatest breadth. It was found at Mainz. The scabbard is of wood 
ornamented with plates of silver-gilt. At the top is a relief showing 
Tiberius welcoming Germanicus on his victorious return from Germany 
(A.D. 17). In the centre is a portrait medallion of Tiberius. The 
relief at the bottom indicates the return of the standards of Varus to a 
Roman temple. Below is an Amazon armed with the German battle-axe 


From a photograph by Tryde of the original marble in the Jacobsen 
collection at Copenhagen. There is no sufficient reason to doubt the 
authenticity of this famous portrait of Pompey the Great. It closely 
resembles a beautiful gem in the Chatsworth collection 


From a photograph by Alinari of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. A fine ancient portrait ; but its authenticity cannot be 


From a photograph by Anderson. Erected in 78 B.C. Notice the 
Ionic columns used purely as ornament 


From a photograph by Alinari. Commonly known as " The Temple 
of the Sibyl," but more properly assigned to Vesta. This is considered 
to be work of about 80 B.C. The style is Corinthian 

18 (Fig. i) VENUS GENETRIX 120 

From a photograph by Alinari of the statue in the Louvre. Described 
on p. 156 


From a photograph by Alinari of the statue in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. This celebrated and once admired statue is now regarded as 
typical of the degenerate Greek work produced for the Roman market. 
The technique is still admirable 


From a photograph by the Graphic Gesellschaft of the original black 
basalt head in the Berlin Museum. Its antiquity is not above 

20 (Fig. i) BUST OF JULIUS CAESAR 138 

From a photograph by Anderson of the original in the Vatican, Rome. 
A fine portrait, undoubtedly a close copy of an authentic original, as is 
the equally famous example in the British Museum 


From a photograph by Anderson of the bust in the Capitoline Museum, 
Rome. The authenticity of this has been doubted, but on insufficient 
grounds. Evidently a work of about the same period as the " Young 
Augustus " (plate 25) 





Plate from " The Art of the Romans " by H. B. Walters, by kind 
permission of Messrs. Methuen & Co. Arretine pottery takes its name 
from Arretium (Arezzo), the chief centre of this native Italian industry. 
It is distinguished by the fine crimson clay of which it is made. The 
designs stamped in relief from moulds are generally imitated from 
Greek metal-work or Samian ware. The pieces are seldom more than 
6 in.' in^height 


1. Coin of Pontus, with head of Mithradates the Great. See pp. 103, 


2. Silver Tetradrachm, with heads of Antony and Cleopatra. See 

pp. 122, 155 

3. Denarius of Sulla 

Rev . Q. Pompeius Rufus, consul with Sulla in 88 B.C. 

4. Denarius of Julius Caesar 

Rev. figure of Victory, with name of L. ./Emilius Buca, triumvir of 
the mint 

5. Coin of Tiberius, with head of Livia and inscription SALVS AVGVSTA 


Collotype plate from a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the original in 
the Gem Room, British Museum. Probably the work of Dioscorides, 
who had the exclusive right of portraying Augustus 


From a photograph by Anderson of the statue in the Vatican, Rome. 
The emperor is depicted as a triumphant general, haranguing his troops. 
In the centre of the breastplate is a Parthian humbly surrendering the 
standards to a Roman soldier 


From a photograph by Anderson of the bust in the Vatican, Rome. A 
distinctly Greek portrait, possibly taken during his early days at 
Apollonia ; an authentic original bust 


From a photograph supplied by Prof. Garstang of the original bronze, 
discovered by him in 1910, at Meroe in Egypt, and since presented to 
the British Museum 


From a photograph by Alinari of the bust in the UfHzi Gallery, 
Florence. The design of the bust is inconsistent with the belief that 
this is a contemporary portrait. But it resembles the portraits of the 
general on the coins 


This fine marble bridge was begun by Augustus and completed by 
Tiberius. Ariminum was the northern terminus of the great Flaminian 

From photographs by C. T. Carr. The amphitheatre was erected by 
Diocletian about A.D. 290 and was restored by Napoleon. It would 




contain about 20,000 spectators. Verona was the capital under 
Theodoric the Ostrogoth 


This is part of the great aqueduct which supplied Nismeswith water. 
The bridge has a span of 880 feet across the valley of the Garden. The 
lower tiers are built of stone without mortar or cement of any 


The amphitheatre at Nismes is larger than that of Verona. There are 
sixty arches on the ground and first floors, with larger apertures at the 
four cardinal points 


Notice the consoles in the attic story. These are pierced with round 
holes to contain the poles which once supported an awning for the 
protection of the spectators from the heat 


Aries (Arelate) was one of the chief towns of Gallia Narbonensis, and a 
colony of Augustus. The upper part of the arch has perished. The 
sculptures represent chained captives. There is no inscription and 
the date of the monument is uncertain 


This mausoleum was erected by three brothers Julius to the memory 

of their parents. Thousands of Gauls took the name of Julius in honour 

of Caesar and Augustus. The style, which is essentially Grzco-Roman, 

is appropriate to the period of Augustus. The reliefs again represent 


Plates 29-32 are from photographs taken by Sir Alexander Binnie 

33 (Fig. i) ARCH OF MARIUS, ORANGE 166 

From a photograph by Neurdein. Apparently erected to the memory 
of C. Marius, who defeated the Teutons at Aquae Sextias in 102 B.C. 
The neighbourhood of Orange (Arausio) was the scene of a great Roman 
defeat three years earlier. But the style of the monument points to a 
date at least a century later. The style of the reliefs is dated by the 
best authorities in the reign of Tiberius. The name of the sculptor, 
Boudillus, appears to be Gallic 


From a photograph by Brogi. Remains of a handsome Corinthian 
colonnade which formerly belonged to the palace of Maximian. In the 
fourth century A.D., Mediolanum was frequently a place of imperial 
residence. In this period Milan was larger than Rome 


From a photograph by Alinari. This famous statue, which stands in 
the Loggia dei Lanzi, at Florence, is popularly called after the wife of 
Arminius, who died in exile at Ravenna. It is probably a typical 
Teutonic captive and very possibly occupied a place in the niche of a 
triumphal arch. Mrs. Strong assigns it to the period of Trajan 

b xvii 




From a photograph by Alinari of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. Augustus introduced Caesar-worship into Rome by means of 
these altars to the Lares (household gods) and the Genius of Augustus. 
This altar dates from A.D. 2. Augustus is in the centre, Livia his wife to 
the right, and Gaius or Lucius Caesar to the left. Mrs. Strong describes 
these reliefs as " a series of singular charm " 


From a photograph by Anderson of the original in the Villa Medici, 
Rome. An earlier example of the favourite sacrificial theme. The 
artist has sacrificed, as usual, the hinder part of his victim to his desire 
to introduce as many as possible of the portrait studies. The relief 
has been much and badly restored 


From a photograph by Brogi of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. Discussed on pp. 244-245 


From a photograph by Anderson of the original in the Museo delle 
Terme, Rome. The scene is a sacrifice. The majestic bearded figure on 
the right is perhaps emblematical of the senate one of the finest con- 
ceptions of Graeco-Roman art and little inferior to the elders on the 
Parthenon frieze. Above the attendants on the left is a small shrine 
of the Penates 


1. A silver mirror-case of exquisite design : the central medallion 
represents Leda and the swan 

2. One of the beautiful examples of Augustan art in which natural 
forms are used with brilliant decorative effect 

From photographs by Giraudon of the originals in the Louvre 

39 (Fig. i) GERMANICUS 180 

Sardonyx cameo from the Carlisle collection. Photograph by 
Mansell & Co. 


Photograph by Mansell & Co. Sardonyx cameo probably by Dioscorides, 

A.D. 13 

Below : German captives and Roman soldiers erecting a trophy 
Above : Augustus and Roma enthroned. Behind them are Earth, Ocean, 
and (f) the World, who is crowning him with the corona civica. Behind 
his head is his lucky sign the constellation of Capricornus. Tiberius 
escorted by a Victory is stepping out of his triumphal chariot and 
Germanicus stands between 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the original in the Bibliotheque 
Nationale, Paris. The largest and finest sardonyx cameo in existence. 
It is cut in five layers of the stone so that wonderful effects of tinting 
are produced, sometimes at the expense of the modelling. Tiberius and 
his mother Livia occupy the centre. Germanicus and his mother 
Antonia stand before him. The figures to the left may be Gaius 




(Caligula) and the wife of Germanicus. Behind the throne Drusus is 
looking up to heaven, where the deified Augustus floats, surrounded by 
allegorical figures. Below are barbarian captives 

41 (Figs, i and 3) STUCCO RELIEFS 184 

From photographs by Anderson of the originals in the National Museum, 
Rome. Much of the ornamentation of Roman villas was in stucco or 
terra-cotta taken from the mould and often tinted. Both the flying 
Victory and the Bacchic relief showing a drunken Silenus are extremely 
graceful specimens of the art, both essentially Greek 

From a photograph by Anderson of the fragment in the Museo delle 
Terme, Rome. A fine example of the naturalistic ornament of the 
Augustan period 


From a photograph by Anderson of the original in the Museo delle 
Terme, Rome. Quoted by Wickhoff as " a triumph of the Augustan 
illusionist style " : a design of plane-leaves, admirable in fidelity to 
nature. Observe the rich mouldings of the framework 

From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the original in the British 
Museum. From the tomb of a poet. The Muse stands before him 
holding a tragic mask 


From a photograph by Giraudon of the original in the Louvre. The 
inscription shows that this altar was dedicated to the spirits of Amemptus, 
afreedman of the Empress Livia. It belongs therefore to about A.D. 25. 
From the types of ornament employed one may conjecture that 
Amemptus was a Greek actor and musician. The decorative effect is 
very charming and the detail most beautifully worked out 


Eight Ionic unfluted columns with part of the entablature. The 
columns stand upon a lofty base. The Temple of Saturn, which con- 
tained the treasury of the senate, was rebuilt in 42 B.C. 

From photographs by R. C. Smith. The most complete example of the 
round temple still existing, the Temple of Vesta in the Forum having 
disappeared. This is probably a temple of " Mother Dawn." The 
five Corinthian columns of Pentelic marble were probably imported 
from Greece. Most authorities assign it to the Augustan restoration, 
but others place it among the earliest Republican works. The tiled . 
roof is of course modern, and somewhat spoils its effect. This little 
temple stood in the Forum Boarium (cattle market) 


From photographs by Anderson and Brogi. See p. 251 


From a photograph kindly supplied by Sir Alexander Binnie. Perhaps 
the finest, certainly the most complete example of Grxco-Roman 
architecture. The style is Corinthian, but characteristic Roman 




developments are the high podium or base, and the fact that the sur- 
rounding peristyle is " engaged " or attached to the wall except in 
front (pseudo-peripteral). This temple was dedicated to M. Aurelius 
and L. Verus. It was surrounded by an open space and then a 
Corinthian colonnade. Nismes, once the centre of a flourishing trade in 
cheese, is especially rich in Roman remains 


From a photograph by Anderson. The theatre, built by Augustus in 
13 B.C. in memory of his ill-fated nephew, was constructed in three 
tiers, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. The upper story has disappeared, 
and the elevation of the ground floor has been spoilt by the. rise in the 
level of the ground 


From a photograph by Anderson. The splendid cortile of the Farnese 
Palace, designed by Michael Angelo, is copied from the Theatre of 
Marcellus, exhibiting the same succession of orders. The juxtaposition 
of these two plates should assist the reader's imagination to re-create 
the original splendours of Roman architecture from the existing 


From a photograph by Anderson. Erected by Augustus in honour of 
his beloved sister, who was married first to M. Marcellus then to 
M. Antony. She was the mother of Marcellus, great-grandmother of 
Nero and Caligula. She died in 1 1 B.C. The colonnade was probably 
built some years before her death. It enclosed the temples of Jupiter 
Stator and Juno ; it also contained a public library and a senate-house 
which was destroyed by fire in the reign of Titus 


From a photograph by Alinari of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. A sacrifice, probably a work of the time of Domitian. 
The heads, most of them portraits, are of admirable execution, but the 
overcrowded design is unpleasing. The architectural background is 
typical of the Flavian period. This slab was used by Raphael in his 
cartoon of Paul and Barnabas at Lystra 


* Nero 5. Marcus Aurelius 

2- Trajan 6. Domitian 

3. Vespasian 7. Vitellius 

4. Hadrian 8. Galba 
From originals in the British Museum 



From a photograph by Gibson & Son. See pp. 261-262 


From a photograph by Frith. An example of military architecture, 
truly Roman in character. Probably dates from the time of Gallienus 
(A.D. 260) 




On the left, the emperor surrounded by his staff is haranguing his 
troops. Observe how the ranks of the army are portrayed in file. On 
the right, fortifications are being constructed (Cichorius, plate xi) 


On the left, horses are being transported across the Danube ; Trajan is 
seen steering his galley, sheltered by a canopy. On the right he is 
landing at the gates of a Roman town on the river banks. The temples 
are visible within the walls (Cichorius, plate xxvi) 


A cavalry battle, in which the Romans are charging the mail-clad 
Sarmatians. The reader will notice the resemblance between the 
latter and the Norman knights of the Bayeux tapestry (Cichorius, 
plate xxviii) 


On the left the Romans, in testudo formation, are attacking a Dacian 
fortress. In the centre Trajan is receiving the heads of the defeated 
enemy (Cichorius, plate li) 

Four collotype plates, reproduced by special permission from Prof. 
Cichorius's " Die Reliefs der Traianssaule " (Berlin, Georg Reimer, 
1896). Photographs by Donald Macbeth 


From a photograph by Alinari of the original in the Uffizi Gallery, 
Florence. An example of " continuous narration " in relief-work. 
The sarcophagus is ornamented with typical scenes in the life of a 
Roman gentleman the chase, the greeting by his slaves, sacrifice, 
marriage. The design is described as " subtly interwoven " or 
" fatiguing and confused " according to the taste of the onlooker 


From a photograph by G ; raudon of the original relief in the Louvre. 
The source of this slab is unknown ; it evidently belongs to the begin- 
ning of the second century A.D., and refers to the Dacian Wars of 
Trajan, or possibly of Domitian. The contrast between the proud 
calm Roman and the wild barbarian is very fine, and recalls similar 
contrasts in Greek sculpture. In the background a Dacian hut and an 
oak-tree are seen 


From a photograph by Brogi. Shows the emblems captured in 
Jerusalem (A.D. 70) being carried in triumph at Rome. We can dis- 
tinguish the seven-branched candlestick, the table for the show-bread 
and the Sacred Trumpets. The tablets were inscribed with the names 
of captured cities 


EAST) 230 

From a photograph by Donald Macbeth of plate xxvi in Robert 
Wood's " Ruins of Palmyra," 1753. The city of Palmyra, traditionally 
founded by Solomon, at a meeting-point of the Syrian caravan routes, 
first rose into prominence in the time of Gallienus, when Odenathus, its 




Saracen prince, was acknowledged by the emperor as " Augustus," 
i.e. a colleague in the imperial power. After his assassination his 
widow Zenobia succeeded to his power and ruled magnificently as 
Queen of the East until she was defeated and made captive by Aurelian. 
The architectural remains are Corinthian in style, embellished with 
meaningless oriental ornament 


Heliopolis or Ba'albek was the centre of a fertile region of Ccele-Syria 
on the slopes of Anti-Lebanon. It was always a centre of Baal or Sun 
worship, it was a city of priests and its oracle attracted great renown in 
the second century A.D. when it was consulted by Trajan. Antoninus 
Pius built the great Temple of Zeus (Jupiter), one of the wonders of the 
world. The worship was rather that of Baal than of Zeus, and oriental 
in character. It included the cult of conical stones such as that brought 
to Rome by Elagabalus. The architecture is of the most sumptuous 
Corinthian style, with some oriental modifications 


Here we observe the oriental round arch forming the lowest course. 
The material of the buildings is white granite with decorations of rough 
local marble 


Observe the rather effective juxtaposition of fluted and unfluted columns 


This small circular temple is of a style without parallel in antiquity. 
The nature of the cult is unknown 

The last four plates are reproduced by special permission of the Director 
of the Royal Museum, Berlin, from photographs supplied by the 
Koniglichen Messbildanstalt. They are plates xvii, xxi, zxii, and TTT 
respectively, in Puchstein and Von Lupke's " Ba'albek," published for 
the German Government by G. Reimer, Berlin 

64 (Fig. i) TIMGAD : THE CAPITOL 240 

Timgad (Thamugadi) was founded by Trajan as a Roman colony in 
A.D. loo. It is on the edge of the Sahara in the ancient province of 
Numidia. It has recently been explored by the French. The photo- 
graph shows the Capitol raised on an artificial terrace. Two of the 
Corinthian columns have been re-erected 


A view of the main street, spanned by a triumphal arch in honour of 
Trajan. The ruts of the carriage-wheels are still visible as at Pompeii. 
From photographs by Miss K. P. Blair 


From a photograph by d'Agostino. The new street revealed by the 
most recent excavations of Prof. Spinazzola. The photograph shows us 
a " hot-wine shop " with the bar and the wine-jars 


From a photograph by Abeniacar. Another of the most recent finds, 
a fresco of the Twelve Gods 




67 (Fig. i) THE EMPEROR DECIUS 246 

From a photograph by Anderson of the bust in the Capitoline Museum, 
Rome. A splendid example of the realistic portraiture in the third 
century A.D. 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the bust in the British Museum. 
All the portraits of the virtuous philosopher agree in producing this 
aspect of tonsorial prettiness which belies the character of a manly and 
vigorous prince 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the bust in the British 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the bust in the British Museum 


From photographs by Anderson of the originals in the Vatican, Rome 

(Fig. i) WARRIORS 

Represents a military review. The infantrymen with their standards 
are grouped in the centre, while the emperor leads a procession of the 
cavalry with their vexilla, who march past with what Mrs. Strong 
describes as a " fine and pleasing movement." Discussed on p. 292 


Antoninus and his less virtuous consort are being borne up to heaven on 
the back of Fame or the Genius. The youth reclining below bears the 
obelisk of Augustus to indicate that he personifies the Campus Martius. 
The figure on the right is Rome. The composition of the scene 
displays a ludicrous want of imagination 


From photographs by Anderson. See p. 293 

71 (Fig. i) THE ARCH OF TITUS, ROME 258 

See p. 293 


The Arch of Constantine is adorned with borrowed reliefs, mainly from 
the Forum of Trajan. It is the best preserved of the Roman arches. 
From photographs by R. C. Smith 


From a photograph by Anderson. Described on p. 293. In the fore- 
ground is the ruined apse of the Temple of Venus and Rome, built by 


From a photograph by Anderson. The great Forum of Trajan was 
constructed by the Greek architect Apollodorus between A.D. ill and 
114. The base of the column formed a tomb destined to contain 
the conqueror's ashes. At the top was his statue, now replaced by an 
image of St. Peter. The story of the Dacian war is told on the spiral 
relief about I metre broad. See plates 53-56 





From photographs by Anderson. The Antonine Column was con- 
structed on the model of the Column of Trajan, seventy-five years later, 
and thus affords an insight into the progress of relief sculpture at Rome. 
The later work shows more attempt at individual expression, not always 
successful, and the scenes are less crowded. They depict episodes from 
the German and Sarmatian wars of A.D. 171-175, (a) represents the 
decapitation of the rebels and (b) the capture of a German village : the 
huts are being burned while M. Aurelius serenely superintends an 

75 ANTINOUS 266 
(Fig. i) from a photograph by Giraudon of the Mondragore bust in the 


(Fig. 2) from a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the bust in the British 

The significance of the artistic cult of Antinous in the age of Hadrian is 
discussed on p. 293. It is probably only the diffidence of our native 
archaeologists which has allowed the colossal Mondragore bust its 
supremacy. The British Museum portrait represents him younger and 
in the guise of a youthful Dionysius, the expression far more human, 
and the treatment of the hair far less elaborate and effeminate 


ROME 268 

From a photograph by Anderson 

(Fig. i). Marcus Aurelius accompanied by Bassseus Rufus, praetorian 

prefect, is riding through a wood and receiving the submission of two 
barbarian chiefs. In my judgment this scene, and especially the figure 
of the foot soldier at the emperor's side, is the chff-d'ceuvre of Roman 
historical relief-work 

(Fig. 2). Marcus and Bassaeus are sacrificing in front of the temple of the 
Capitoline Jove. These panels probably belonged to a triumphal arch 
erected in honour of the German and Sarmatian wars of A.D. 171-175. 
From photographs by Anderson of the originals in the Conservatori 
Palace, Rome 


From photographs by Alinari. This splendid monument at Bene- 
ventum on the Appian Way was erected in A.D. 114 in expectation of 
the emperor's triumphant return from the East, where, however, he 
died. It is constructed of Greek marble and once carried a quadriga 
in bronze. The reliefs on the inside (Fig. i) depict the triumph of 
Trajan after his Parthian campaign. Those on the outside (Fig. 2) 
represent the Dacian campaigns 


From a photograph by Anderson of the original in the National 
Museum, Rome. A fine example of decorative art. The motive of the 
garlanded skull is a favourite one. This altar was, as the inscription 
shows, a work of Hadrian's time 





From a photograph by Alinari of the fragments in the Lateran Museum, 
Rome. Monument to a physician and his family of about A.D. 100. 
The scheme is ugly and barbaric, but it includes some very fine decora- 
tive work. The f a9ades of five Roman buildings are shown the Temple 
of Isis, the Colosseum, two triumphal arches, and the Temple of 
Jupiter Stator. The temples are open and the images visible 


From a photograph by Lacoste, kindly supplied by Sr. D. Miguel 
Utrillo. This superb bridge over the Tagus is 650 feet long. The 
design exhibits a rare combination of grace with strength 


From a photograph by Anderson. The Castel S. Angelo, restored 
as a fortress by Pope Alexander VI. (Borgia), consists mainly of the 
Mausoleum of Hadrian ; the bridge leading to it was also constructed 
for the emperor's funeral. The circular tower was formerly ornamented 
with columns between which were statues. The famous Barberini 
Faun was one of them. There was a pyramidal gilt roof, and a colossal 
quadriga at the top. The whole building was formerly faced with white 
Parian marble. Besides Hadrian, all the Antonines, and Septimius 
Severus and Caracalla were buried here. The castle has had a stirring 
history in mediaeval times also. The building is modelled upon the 
Mausoleum of Caria 


From photographs by R. C. Smith. See p. 296 



From the originals in the British Museum, after photographs by 
Donald Macbeth 


From the original in the British Museum, said to have been found in a 
columbarium on the Appian Way 


From photographs by R. C. Smith. The upper picture shows how 
the buried city has been dug out of the ashes from Vesuvius which form 
the subsoil of the surrounding country. The lower picture is a general 
view, showing Corinthian columns which formed a colonnade round the 
open impluvium 


From photographs by Brogi. The upper picture shows the Cupids 
engaged as goldsmiths ; the lower shows them as charioteers, Apollo 
and Artemis below. Two examples of the elegant mythological style 
of the Greek decline, but extremely effective for the purpose. This art 
is held to have originated in Alexandria 


Collotype plate from a photograph by Brogi. Probably a copy of one 



10 FACE 

of the great pictures of the old Greek masters, Timanthes, about 400 B.C. 
If so it is the most important example of early painting in existence. 
The psychological motive of the composition is a study of grief. 
Calchas the prophet is grieved with foreknowledge, Ajax and Odysseus 
are sorrowfully obeying commands which they do not understand. 
Iphigenia herself shows the fortitude of a martyr, but Agamemnon's 
grief, since he was her father, is too great for a Greek to exhibit. Hence 
his face is hidden. Above appears the deer which Artemis allowed to 
be substituted for the maiden 


Reproduced by permission of the German Institute of Archaeology, 
from Luckenbach's " Kunst und Geschichte " (grosse Ausgabe, Teil I, 
Tafel IV)., by arrangement with R. Oldenbourg, Munich 


From a photograph by Brogi of the fresco now in the Vatican. In the 
centre is the veiled bride ; Venus is encouraging her, Charis is compound- 
ing sweet essences to add to her beauty, Hymen waits on the bride's left 
seated on the threshold stone, outside is a group of three maidens, a 
musician, a crowned bridesmaid, and a tire-woman. At the other side 
the bride's family is seen. This is without question the most charming 
example of ancient painting 


From a photograph by Brogi of the original, discovered at Pompeii, 
now in the National Museum, Naples. An example of Hellenic metal- 
work of the Augustan age 


From a photograph by Mansell & Co. of the statue in the British 
Museum. Represents the Mithraic sacrament of Taurobolium in 
which the worshippers received new life by bathing in the blood of a bull. 
Mithras wears a Phrygian cap, for the Mithraic religion, though it arose 
in Persia, only began to form artistic expression when it passed through 
the art region of Asia Minor. This motive constantly recurs in the 
monuments of the second and third century all over Europe 


From a photograph by Alinari. This little church which contains the 
tombs of the Emperor Honorius, her brother, and of Constantius III., 
her husband, as well as a sarcophagus of the Empress in marble, 
formerly adorned with plaques of silver, is eloquent of the shrunken 
glory of the Western Empire in the fifth century. It was founded 
about A.D. 440. It is built in the form of a Latin cross, and is only 49 ft. 
l n g> 4 1 ft. broad. The interior contains beautiful mosaics. Ravenna 
contains many other relics of this period when it was the seat of the 
Roman government 


From a photograph by Giraudon of the original in the Louvre. In 
the centre Constantine is represented on horseback with spear reversed 
in token of victory. Round him are Victory, a suppliant barbarian, 
and Earth with her fruits. To the left is a Roman soldier bearing a 



PLATES ** Glt 

statuette of Victory. Below the nations of the East bring their tribute. 
Above two Victories, in process of transition into angels, support a 
medallion of Christ, still of the beardless type associated with Apollo 
and Sol Invictus. The emblems of sun, moon, and stars show that 
Christian Art is not yet severed from paganism 


From a photograph by Miss Carr. Diocletian planned this great palace, 
which is more like a city or fortress, at Spalato (Salons) on the Dalmatian 
coast, for his place of retirement. Its external walls measured 700 ft. 
by 580 ft. It was fortified on three sides and entered by three gates. 
The arcading in which the oriental arch springs from the Roman 
column is the most interesting architectural feature of the extensive 
ruins now existing 


From a photograph by Anderson. Shows the really degenerate art 
of the fourth century A.D. In this battle (A.D. 312) Constantine 
defeated his rival Maxentius, who was drowned with numbers of his 
men in the Tiber. The relief shows the drowning 




The style of the design points to about 350 B.C., and we have no real 
evidence of a coinage any earlier. The design is not primitive though 
it is clumsily cast. The head of Janus is often found on Greek coins 
and so is the galley prow. The weight of the As sank from 12 to I oz. in 
the course of republican history 


An example of Etruscan painting which does not differ from 
Greek. This is probably a head of Hercules, whose name is found on 
Etruscan inscriptions 


From Ridgeway's " Early Age of Greece." Black ware decorated with 
incised ornament : hippocamps or sea-horses on one : found at Falerii 
in Tuscany. Pottery of this type is found on prehistoric sites all over 
the Mediterranean 


The woollen toga was the official dress of the Roman citizen. It was 
generally worn over a tunic, though antiquarians, like Cato, wore the 
toga alone. It was worn in the natural colour of the wool, but 
candidates for office wore it specially whitened, and magistrates had a 
purple border 







It is clearly only a provincial development of the Arretine ware which, 
is itself imitated from the Samian ware of Greece 



A reconstruction of the great frontier lines which encircled the Empire 
to the North along the Rhine and Danube. This is the style of the 
limes of Upper Germany 



See p. 294 



questa del Foro tuo solitudine 
ogni rumore vince, ogni gloria, 
e tutto che al mondo 6 civile, 
grande, augusto, egli romano ancora. 



THENS and Rome stand side by 
side as the parents of Western 
civilisation. The parental meta- 
phor is almost irresistible. 
Rome is so obviously masculine 
and robust, Greece endowed 
with so much loveliness and 
charm. Rome subjugates by 
physical conquest and govern- 
ment. Greece yields so easily 
to the Roman might and then 
in revenge so easily dominates Rome itself, with all that 
Rome has conquered, by the mere attractiveness of 
superior humanity. Nevertheless this metaphor of mascu- 
line and feminine contains a serious fallacy. Greece, too, 
had had days of military vigour. It was by superior 
courage and skill in fighting that Athens and Sparta had 
beaten back the Persian invasions of the fifth century 
before Christ, and thus saved Europe for occidentalism. 
Again it was by military prowess that Alexander the Great 
carried Greek civilisation to the borders of India, Hellenising 
Asia Minor, Syria, Persia, Egypt, Phoenicia and even 
Palestine. This he did just at the moment when Rome was 

A I 


winning her dominion over Latium. Instead, then, of looking 
at Greece and Rome as two coeval forces working side by 
side we must regard them as predecessor and successor. 
Rome is scarcely revealed as a world-power until she meets 
Greek civilisation in Campania near the beginning of the 
third century before Christ. The physical decline of Greece 
is scarcely apparent until her phalanx returns beaten in battle 
by the Roman maniples at Beneventum. Moreover, in 
addition to this chronological division of spheres there is also 
a geographical division. Greece takes the East, Rome the 
West, and though by the time that Rome went forth to 
govern her Western provinces she was already pretty 
thoroughly permeated with Greek civilisation, yet the West 
remained throughout mediaeval history far more Latin than 
Greek. When Constantine divided the empire he was only 
expressing in outward form a natural division of culture. 

The resemblances between Rome and Greece even from 
the first are very clearly marked. In many respects they are 
visibly of the same family, and though we no longer speak as 
confidently of "Aryan" and "Indo-European" as did the 
ethnologists and philologists of the nineteenth century, yet 
there remains an obvious kinship of language, customs, and 
even dress. Many of the most obvious similarities, such 
as those of religion, are now seen to be the result of 
later borrowing, but there remains a distinct cousinship, 
whether derived from the conquest of both peninsulas by 
kindred tribes of northern invaders, as Ridgeway holds, or 
from the existence of an aboriginal Mediterranean race, as 
Sergi believes or from both. 

But with all these resemblances, one of the most interest- 
ing features of ancient history lies in the psychological con- 
trast between Greece and Rome, or rather between Athens 
and Rome.' Athens is rich in ideas, full of the spirit of 
inquiry, and hence fertile in invention, fond of novelty, 
worshipping brilliance of mind and body. Rome is stolid 
and conservative, devoted to tradition and law. Gravity and 


the sense of duty are her supreme virtues. Here we have 
the two types that succeed and conquer, set side by side for 
comparison. To which is the victory in the end ? 

To the Englishman of to-day Rome is in some ways far 
more familiar than Greece. Apart from obvious resemblances 
in history and in character, Rome touches our own domestic 
history, and any man who has marked the stability of old 
Roman foundations or the straightness of old Roman roads 
has already grasped a fundamental truth about her. He is ' 
surely not far wrong in the general sense of irresistible 
power, of blind energy and rigid law, which he associates 
with the name of Rome. Thus, there is not as there was in 
the case of Greece any radical misconception of the Roman 
character to be combated. 

But there is, it appears, a widely prevalent false perspec- - 
live in the common view of Roman history. The modern 
reader, especially if he be an Englishman, is a very stern 
moralist in his judgment of other nations and ages. In addi- 
tion to this he is a citizen of an empire now extremely self- 
conscious and somewhat bewildered at its own magnitude. 
He cannot help drawing analogies from Roman history and 
seeking in it "morals" for his own guidance. The Roman 
empire bears such an obvious and unique resemblance to 
the British that the fate of the former must be of enormous 
interest to the latter. For this reason alone we are apt to 
regard the fall of Rome as the cardinal point of Roman 
history. To this must be added the influence of Gibbon's 
great work. By Gibbon we are led to contemplate above 
all things (with Silas Wegg) her Decline and Fall. Thus 
Rome has become for many people simply a colossal failure 
and a horrible warning. We behold her first as a Republic 
tottering to her inevitable ruin, and then as an Empire 
decaying from the start and continuing to fester for some 
five hundred years. This is one of the cases which prove 
that History is made not so much by heroes or natural 
forces as by historians. It is an accident of historiography 



that the Republic was not described by any great native 
historian until its close, when amid the horrors of civil war 
men set themselves to idealise the heroes of extreme anti- 
quity and thus left a gloomy picture of unmitigated deteriora- 
tion. As there was no great historian in sympathy with the 
imperial regime, the reputation of the early Empire was left 
mainly in the hands of Tacitus and Suetonius, the former of 
whom riddled it with epigrams while the latter befouled it 
with scandal. Nearly all Roman writers had a rhetorical 
training and a satirical bent : all Romans were praisers of 
the past. Thus it is that Roman virtue has receded into an 
age which modern criticism declares to be mythological. It 
is a further accident that the genius of Rome's greatest 
modern historian was also strongly satirical. It was a natural 
affinity of temper which led Gibbon to continue the story of 
Tacitus and to dip his pen into the same bitter fluid. 

Thus Rome has found few impartial historians and hardly 
any sympathetic ones. But is it possible to be sympathetic ? 
While every true scholar feels a thrill at the name of Greece, 
scarcely any one loves Ancient Rome. At the first mention 
of her name the average man's thoughts fly to the Colosseum 
and the Christian martyr " facing the lion's gory mane " to 
the music of Nero's fiddle. His second thought is to formu- 
late his explanation of her decline and fall. The explanations " 
are as various as political complexions. " Luxury," says the 
moralist, " Heathendom," says the Christian, " Christianity," 
replies Gibbon. The Protectionist can easily show that it 
was due to the importation of free corn, while the Free 
Trader draws attention to the enormous burdens which Roman 
trade had to bear. " Militarism," explains the peace-lover ; 
"neglect of personal service," replies the conscriptionist. 
The Liberal and the Conservative can both draw valuable 
conclusions from Roman history in support of their respective 
attitudes of mind. "If it had not been for demagogues like 
Marius and the Gracchi," says the Conservative, " Rome 
might have continued to exhibit the courage and patriotism 

a." It-i... 


which she displayed under senatorial guidance in the war 
against Hannibal, instead of rushing to her doom by way of 
sedition and disorder." With equal justice the Liberal points 
to the stupid bigotry with which that corrupt oligarchy, the 
senate, delayed necessary reforms. That, he says, was the 
cause of the downfall of Rome. That was the writing on the 

Whether it is or is not possible to love Ancient Rome, 
I would suggest that this attitude of treating her merely as a 
subject for autopsies and a source of gloomy vaticinations for 
the benefit of the British Empire is a preposterous affront to 
history. The mere notion of an empire continuing to decline 
and fall for five centuries is ridiculous. It is to regard as a 
failure the greatest civilising force in all the history of Europe, 
the most stable form of government, the strongest military 
and political system that has ever existed. 

It is just at this point that our own generation can add 
something of great importance to the study of Roman 
history. Whatever may be said for its faith, hope is the 
great discovery of our age. By the help of that blessed 
word "Evolution" we have learnt not to put our Golden 
Ages in the past but in the future. In many instances we 
have discovered that what our fathers called decay was really 
progress. May it not be so with Rome ? 

The destiny or function of Rome in world-history was 
nothing more or less than the making of Europe. The 
modern family of European nations are her sons and 
daughters, and some of her daughters have grown up and 
married foreign husbands and given birth to offspring. For 
this great purpose it was necessary that the city itself should 
pass through the phases of growth, maturity and decay. In 
political terms, it was part of the Roman destiny to translate 
the civilisation of the city-state into that of the nation or 
territorial state. Having evolved the Province it was 
necessary that the City should expire. Conquest on a 
colossal scale was part of the programme, absolute centralised 



Unless we are prepared to accept the rank of progenies 
vitiosissima we are compelled to discount this whole tendency 
of thought and read our authorities between the lines. They 
were all rhetoricians, all bent on praising the past at the 
expense of the present and the future ; none of them were 
over-scrupulous in dealing with evidence. If all the historians 
had perished and only the inscriptions remained we should 
have a very different picture of the Roman empire, a 
picture much brighter and, I think, much more faithful to 


Hellenism we know and understand ; every true classical 
scholar is a Hellenist by conviction. But what is Latinism 
and who are our Latinists ? The altar fires are extinct and 
the votaries are scattered. Except for a small volume of the 
choicest Latin poetry of the Augustan age, what that is Latin 
gives us pleasure to-day ? Greek studies seem to attract all 
that is most brilliant and genial in the world of scholarship : 
Latin is mainly relegated to the dry-as-dusts. Who reads 
Lucan out of school hours ? Who would search Egypt for 
Cicero's lost work " De Gloria " ? Who would recognise a 
quotation from Statius ? 

It has not always been so. Once they quoted Lucan and 
Seneca across the floor of the House of Commons. The 
eighteenth century was far more in sympathy with Ancient 
Rome than we are. In those days it would not have seemed 
absurd to argue the superiority of Vergil over Homer. Down 
to that day Latin had remained the alternative language for 
educated people, the medium of international communication, 
even for diplomacy, until French gradually took its place. 
Only if you specifically sought to reach the vulgar did you 
write in English. Though Dr. Johnson could write a very 
pretty letter in French, he used habitually to converse with 
Frenchmen in Latin ; not that it made him more intelligible, 
for, in fact, no foreigner could understand the English pro- 


nunciation of Latin ; but that he did not wish to appear at a 
disadvantage with a mere Frenchman by adopting a foreign 
jargon. As for public inscriptions, though half the literary 
men in London signed a round-robin entreating the great 
autocrat to write Oliver Goldsmith's epitaph in English, 
Johnson "refused to disgrace the walls of Westminster 
Abbey with an English inscription." 

What is the cause of the eclipse which Latin studies are 
still suffering? One cause, perhaps, is to be found in the 
misuse of the language by the pedagogues and philologists 
of the past in the school and the examination-room. But 
another cause is the recent discovery of the true Greek civi- 
lisation, whereby scholars have come to realise that Latin 
culture is in the main only secondary and derivative. At the 
present moment we are passing through a stage of revolt 
against classicism, convention, and artificiality. We know 
that Greek culture, truly discerned, is neither " classic " nor 
conventional nor artificial, but Latinism is still apparently 
subject to all these terms. The Latinity of Cicero, Vergil, 
Ovid, Horace, Lucan, and the greater part of the giants, in 
fact all the Latin of our schools is what Greek is not really 
and truly classical. They were not writing as they spoke 
and thought. They had studied the laws of expression in the 
school of rhetoric, and on pain of being esteemed barbarous 
they wrote under those laws. Style was their aim. Their 
very language was subject to arbitrary laws of syntax and 
grammar. The English schoolboy who approaches Cicero 
by way of the primer's rules and examples is entering into 
Latin literature by much the same road as the Romans 
themselves. The Romans were grammarians by instinct 
and orators by education. Thus Latin is fitted by nature for 
schoolroom use, and for all who would learn and study words, 
which after all are thoughts, Latin is the supremely best 
training-ground. The language marches by rule. Rules 
govern the inflexions and the concords of the words. The 
periods are built up logically and beautifully in obedience to 


law. Latin, of all languages, least permits translation. You 
have only to translate Cicero to despise him. 

In the world of letters, as in that of politics, there are 
the virtues of order and the virtues of liberty. Our own 
eighteenth century was logical in mind because it had to 
clothe its thoughts in a language of precision. But even 
Pope and Addison are rude barbarians compared with Vergil 
and Cicero. De giistibus non est disputandum let some 
prefer the plain roast and others the made dish. Latin may 
be an acquired taste, but no sort of excellence is mortal. 
Latin will come into its own again along with Dryden and 
Congreve, along with patches and periwigs. Meanwhile it 
must be a very dull soul who is unmoved by the grandeur of 
Roman history, the triumphant march of the citizen legions, 
the dogged patriotism which resisted Hannibal to the death, 
and the pageantry and splendour of the Empire. One must 
be blind not to admire the massive strength of her ruined 
monuments, arches, bridges, roads, and aqueducts. And 
one must be deaf indeed not to enjoy the surges of Ciceronian 
oratory or the rolling music of the Vergilian hexameter. 
Greece may claim all the charm of the spring-time of civilisa- 
tion, but Rome in all her works has a majesty which must 
command, if not love, wonder and respect. Mommsen justly 
remarks that " it is only a pitiful narrow-mindedness that will 
object to the Athenian that he did not know how to mould 
his State like the Fabii and Valerii, or to the Roman that 
he did not learn to carve like Phidias and to write like 

Under the flowing toga of Latinism the natural Roman is 
concealed from our view. It is possible that the progress of 
research and excavation may to some extent rediscover him 
and distinguish him, as it has already done for his Hellenic 
brother, from the polished courtiers of the Augustan age who 
have hitherto passed as typical products of Rome. 

It is astonishing how little we really know of Rome and 
the Romans after all that has been said and written about 


them. The ordinary natural Roman is a complete stranger to 
us. It is certain that he did not live in luxury like Maecenas, 
but how did he live and what sort of man was he ? We can 
discern that his language was not in the least like that of 
Cicero. It appears that he neither dreaded nor disliked 
emperors like Nero, as did Tacitus and Juvenal. As for his 
religion, much has already been done, and more still remains 
to be done, to show that he did not really worship the 
Hellenised Olympians who pass in literature for his gods. 
Recent scholarship has done something to reveal to us the 
presence of a real national art in Rome, or at any rate of an 
artistic development on Italian soil which made visible steps 
of its own out of Hellenic leading-strings. Thus there is 
some hope that the real Roman will not always elude us. 
But for the present in the whole domain of art, religion, 
thought, and literature, Greek influence has almost obliterated 
the native strain. For the present, therefore, we must be 
content to regard Roman civilisation as mainly derivative, 
and our principal object will be to see how Rome fulfilled her 
task as the missionary of Greek thought. This object, to- 
gether with the unsatisfactory nature of the records, must 
excuse the haste with which I have passed over the earlier 
stages of Roman republican history. It is obvious that the 
first three centuries of our era will be the important part of 
Roman history from this point of view. Also, if the progress 
of civilisation be our main study, nothing in Roman history 
before the beginning of the second century B.C. can come 
directly under our attention. When the Romans first came 
into contact with the Greeks they were still barbarians, with 
no literature, no art, and very little industry or commerce. 
The earlier periods will only be introductory. 


The pleasant land of Italy needs no description here. 
Our illustrations* will recall its sunny hill-sides, its deep 

* Plates i, 2, 3, 8, and 70. 



shadows, its vineyards and olive-yards. But there are one 
or two features of its geography which have a bearing upon 
the history of Rome. 

To begin with, the geographical unity of the Italian 
peninsula is more apparent than real. The curving formation 
of the Apennines really divides Italy into four parts (i) the 
northern region, mainly consisting of the Po valley, a fertile 
plain which throughout the Republican period was scarcely 
considered as part of Italy at all, and was, in fact, inhabited 
by barbarian Gauls ; (2) the long eastern strip of Adriatic 
coast, an exposed waterless and harbourless region, with a 
scanty population, which hardly comes into ancient history ; 
(3) the southern region of Italy proper, hot, fertile, and rich 
in natural harbours, so that it very early attracted the notice 
of the Greek mariners, and was planted with luxurious and 
populous cities long before Rome came into prominence ; 
and (4) the central plain facing westward, in which the river 
Tiber and the city of Rome occupy a central position. 
Etruria and Latium together fill the greater part of it. Its 
width is only about eighty miles, so that there is no room for 
any considerable rivers to develop, and, in fact, there are 
only four rivers of any importance in a coast-line of more 
than 300 miles. We may call the whole of this region a plain 
in distinction from the Apennine highlands ; but it is, of 
course, plentifully scattered with hills high enough to provide 
an impregnable citadel, and to this day crowned with huddled 

Rome herself on her Seven Hills began her career by 
securing dominion over the Latin plain which surrounded her 
on all sides but the north. The Roman Campagna,* which is 
now desolate and fever-stricken, was once all populous farm- 
land. The river Tiber, though its silting mouth and tideless 
waters now render it useless for navigation, was in the 
flourishing days of Ancient Rome navigable for small vessels 
and Ostia was a good artificial harbour at its mouth. Thus 

* Plate a. 


it is history rather than geography which has made Rome 
into an unproductive capital. We may conclude that geography 
has placed Rome in a favourable position for securing the 
control of the Mediterranean and especially of the western 
part of it. 

It is worth while also to notice the neighbours by whom 
she was surrounded when she first struggled forward into the 
light. Just across the Tiber to the north of her were the 
Etruscans of whom we shall see more in the next chapter. 
Their pirate ships scoured the sea while their merchants did 
business with the Greeks of Sicily, Magna Graecia and 
Massilia. It was perhaps her position at the tete du pont that 
led to Rome's early prominence in war. Across the water on 
the coast of Africa was the dreaded city of Carthage, which 
had for centuries been striving to establish itself on the 
island of Sicily. All these were seafaring, commercial 
peoples, but it was not by sea that Rome met them. Behind 
Rome, among the valleys and on the spurs of the Apennines, 
were a whole series of sturdy highland clans who like all 
highlanders noticed the superior fatness of the valley sheep. 
It was against these Umbrians, Marsians, Pelignians, Sabines, 
and Samnites that the cities of the plain were constantly at 
feud, and it was mainly her struggles with these that kept the 
Roman swords bright in early days. 

As to the Romans themselves and their origin there is 
little that we can say for certain. Ancient ethnology is not 
by any means yet secure of its premises. One thing is clear 
enough, if we can place any reliance whatever upon literary 
records the national characteristics of the ancient Roman 
were very unlike those of the modern Italian. The one was 
bold, hardy, grave, orderly and inartistic : the other is 
sensitive, vivacious, artistic, turbulent and quick-witted. 
There is not a feature in common between them and yet the 
modern Italian is surely the normal South European type. 
As you go southwards through France you find the people 
approaching these characteristics more and more. The 


Spaniard and the Greek share them. The Ancient Roman 
of republican days, unless he is a literary invention, is assuredly 
no southerner in temperament, though the southern qualities 
undoubtedly begin to grow clear as Roman history progresses. 
And then the whole of early Roman history is marked by a 
strife between the two orders Patrician and Plebeian, which 
is certainly not simply a struggle between two political parties, 
nor a mere conflict between rich and poor. There is a 
division between the two of religion and custom in such 
matters as burial, for example, and marriage-rites. The 
patricians fear contamination of their blood if the plebeians 
are allowed to intermarry with them. These considerations 
and others like them have led Prof. Ridgeway to formulate 
for Rome, as he has already done with success for Greece, 
a theory of northern invasion and conquest in very early 
days. Probably it is a theory which can never be proved 
nor disproved, so woefully scanty is our evidence for the 
earliest centuries of Roman history. But it explains the 
great riddle of Roman character as no other theory does. 

The archaeology of the spade does not help us much 
though it has made some interesting discoveries on the soil 
of Italy. There is of course at the base a Neolithic culture 
resembling that of the rest of Europe. Then there is a phase 
of pile-dwellings widely spread among the marshes of the 
Lombard plain called the " Terramare " civilisation. As 
this phase belongs to the bronze age we may infer that 
civilisation developed later in Italy than in Greece owing 
to the lack of fortified cities. In this Terramare period the 
dead were carefully buried whole, often folded up into a 
sitting posture to fit their contracted graves. Then comes 
an Early Iron period, called "The Villanova," where the 
cremated ashes of the dead are collected in urns and 
deposited in vaults generally walled with flat slabs of stone. 
Above these two stages come Etruscan and Gallic remains 
and then those of the Rome of history. It is probable 
enough that the Iron Age of the Villanova culture repre- 


sents a conquest from the north. It is likely that in pre- 
historic times Italy experienced the same fate as throughout 
the ages of history. The Alpine passes are easier from 
north to south than in the reverse direction, and the smiling 
plains of North Italy have always possessed an irresistible 
attraction for the barbarian who looks down upon them 
from those barren snow-clad heights. Whether the invader 
be an Umbrian or Gaulish or Gothic or Austrian warrior, 
Italia must pay the price for her " fatal gift of beauty." 



arx aeternae dominationis. 


HAT Rome was not built in a day 
is the only thing we really know 
about the origin of Rome. There 
is, however, nothing to prevent 
us from guessing. The modern 
historian of the Economic School 
would picture to us a limited 
company of primeval men of 
business roaming about the world 
until they found a spot in the 
centre of the Mediterranean, a 

convenient depot alike for Spanish copper and Syrian frankin- 
cense, handy for commerce with the Etruscans of the north, 
the Sicilian Greeks of the south, and the Carthaginians of the 
African coast. They select a piece of rising ground on the 
banks of the river Tiber, about fifteen miles from its mouth, a 
spot safe and convenient for their cargo-boats, and there they 
build an Exchange, found a Chamber of Commerce (which 
they quaintly term senatus], and institute that form of public 
insurance which is known as "an army." Thus equipped 
they proceed by force or fraud to acquire a number of 
markets, to which in due course they give the name of 
" Empire." 

This picture, being modern, is naturally impressionistic 
and rather vague in its details. From all accounts a good 


deal of engineering would be required to make the natural 
Tiber suitable for navigation on a large scale. Not only does 
its mouth silt up every year and its channel constantly change, 
but just between the hills on the very floor of Rome every 
spring made pools and swamps. Nor is there any tide in the 
Mediterranean to help the rowers up to the city against the 
stream. The Etruscans, who diversified their commercial 
operations with systematic piracy, held almost the whole of 
this western coast in subjection. The Greeks of the south, 
who have plenty to say about Etruscan and Carthaginian sea- 
farers, have forgotten to mention their early Roman customers. 
But perhaps that is because the primeval trader from Rome 
cannot have had anything much to sell, and certainly had no 
money at all to buy with. In founding his Bourse he seems 
to have forgotten to provide a Mint ; at any rate, long after 
the Sicilian Greeks had evolved a most exquisite coinage of 
silver and gold, the Romans were still content with the huge 
and clumsy copper as. I think we may confidently dismiss . 
external trade from among the causes of the early rise of Rome. 
The coinage is the surest evidence we possess ; no foreign 
trade could have passed in the Mediterranean on a basis of 
the copper as, and in Latin the equivalent for "money" is a 
word denoting "cattle." Whoever the early Romans were, 
they were mainly, as all their religion and traditions show, 
land-soldiers and farmers. 

Livy takes a more sensible view. He admits that the 
current accounts of the foundation of the city are involved in 
mystery and miracle, but he asserts with justice that if any 
city deserved a miraculous origin Rome did. Thereupon he 
proceeds to relate the pleasant tale of her foundation in the 
year 753 B.C. by Romulus and Remus. 

It is surely unprofitable to search very deeply for grains of 
truth in the sands of legend which cover the early traditions 
of Rome, but it is sometimes interesting to conjecture how 
and why the legends were invented. The story of Romulus 
and Remus, for example, may have taken its rise in a 

B 17 


"sacristan's tale" about an ancient work of art representing 

Roman As (bronze, full size) 

a wolf suckling two babes. A fairly ancient copy of this 
motive is preserved in the famous Capitoline Wolf.* The 

* Plate 4. 



wolf at least is ancient, and the children have been added in 
modern times from representations of the famous group on 
ancient coins. It is possible that the original statue may go 
back to days of totemistic religion when the wolf was the 
ancestor of a Roman clan. 

The Seven Kings of Rome are for the most part mere 
names which have been fitted by rationalising antiquarians, 
presumably Greek, with inventions appropriate to them. 
Romulus is simply the patron hero of Rome called by her 
name. Numa, the second, whose name suggests numen, was 
the blameless Sabine who originated most of the old Roman 
cults, and received a complete biography largely borrowed 
from that invented for Solon. Tullus Hostilius and Ancus 
Martius were the hostile and martial inventors of military 
systems. Servius Tullius was a man of servile origin, and 
on this foundation Freeman built his belief that the Roman 
kingship was a career open to talent ! 

As for the two Tarquins, the latter of whom was turned 
by Greek historians into a typical Greek tyrant and made the 
subject of an edifying Greek story of tyrannicide closely 
modelled on the story of Harmodius, their names are said to 
be Etruscan. There is a recent theory that the saving of 
Rome by Horatius and his comrades is fable designed to 
conceal the real conquest of Rome by the Etruscans. As a 
matter of fact there is a good deal of other evidence for that 
theory : reluctant admissions in history and literature, records 
of an ancient treaty of submission, the fact that the ritual and 
ornament of supreme authority at Rome seems to be of 
Etruscan origin, and above all the evidence of the stones. 
There are traces of very early skill and activity in building 
at Rome, and, unless the Romans afterwards declined very 
remarkably in the arts and crafts, their early works, such as 
the walls and some of the sewers, must have been built under 
foreign influence. That some sort of early kingship at Rome 
is more than a legend is certain ; the whole fabric of the 
Roman constitution and its fundamental theory of imperium 


imply the existence of primeval kingship. On the whole, 
then, we may well believe that at some early period the city 
of Rome under Etruscan princes formed part of an empire 
which embraced a number of ports and towns up and down 
the Italian coast, though it did not necessarily concern itself 
with the intervening and surrounding territories. During all 
the early centuries of Rome it must have been a constant 
struggle between civilised walled towns on or near the coast 
and warlike hill tribes, quite uncivilised, from the mountainous 

These mysterious Etruscans have formed the theme of an 
internecine war of monographs. On the whole we may pro- 
nounce that. those scholars who maintain their Lydian origin 
have completely demolished the arguments of those who aver 
that they sprang from the Rhaetian Alps and vice versa. 1 1 
remains possible, therefore, that the Etruscans came from 
nowhere in particular but were as aboriginal and autoch- 
thonous as any European people. It is true that we cannot 
make out much of their language, but that is also true of the 
aboriginal Cretans and of many other autochthonous peoples. 
Their earliest remains are of a type familiar to us in the earliest 
strata of production all over the Mediterranean coast-lands 
prehistoric polygonal masonry, a beehive tomb, incised bucchero 
nero vases and so forth. Their later and finer work shows 
a distinct cousinship with that of Greece though sometimes 
curiously debased and uncouth in spirit. In bronze- working 
they were very skilful.* They developed painting to a high 
pitch in early times, and the British Museum possesses some 
interesting examples from Caere. It was indeed believed by 
Pliny that Corinthian painters had settled in Etruria, that 
being the usual account by which the ancients explained 
resemblances. But we may believe that the art of painting 
is indigenous on the soil of Tuscany. Their pottery is very 
similar to that of Greece.f It appears that the flourishing 
period of Etruscan art coincided with that of the greatest 

* Plate 5. f Plate 6 



extent of their empire, namely, the sixth and early fifth centuries 
Their plastic work was mostly in terra-cotta, for the 


native marbles do not seem to have been quarried. Some of 
their terra-cotta coffins, adorned with conventional portraits of 

Etruscan Fresco : Head of Hercules 

the deceased and finished off by the application of paint, show 
considerable technical skill, but always that strange grotesque 
spirit.* From all accounts these Etruscans were a superstitious 
and cruel race. It was from them that the Romans learnt 
their bloody craft of divination by the inspection of the 
entrails of newly slain victims, and there is little doubt that the 
victims had not always been the lower animals. We are told 
that the insignia of royalty at Rome the toga with scarlet 

* Plate 7. 



or purple stripes, the toga with purple border, the sceptre of 
ivory, the curule chair, the twelve lictors with their axes in 
bundles of rods were borrowed from the Etruscans. Thus 
it seems that the ancient garb of the Roman citizen, a tunic 
covered by a long mantle or toga, a costume which is 

Prehistoric Etruscan Pottery 

essentially the same as the chiton and himation of the Greeks, 
started as a fashion introduced by their more civilised northern 
neighbours. 1 1 seems clear also that the earliest Roman art, the 
decoration of temples with painted terra-cotta ornaments, was 
Etruscan in origin. Some of the earliest statues of the gods 
seem to have been painted, for we hear of a very ancient 
red Jupiter. Thus there is some probability that Rome passed 
through a period, perhaps in the sixth century, of alien rule 
and alien civilisation. Remembering the cousinship between 
Greece and Etruria we shall find that Rome had been pre- 
pared for the reception of Greek culture in very early 








The fifth century seems to have been a period of decline 
for the Etruscan power. The Greek republics, with, as I 
hope we agreed, their northern 
stiffening, had advanced far 
beyond their Etruscan kinsmen 
in intelligence, and the tyrant 
Hiero of Syracuse defeated 
them in a great sea-fight in 
474 B.C. It is agreeable to 
the historian to have a fact 
so certain and a date so well 
attested in all the wilderness 
of legend that surrounds the 
early history of Italy. Then 
the warlike hill tribes of the 
Southern Apennines began to 
press upon their southern 
colonies, and finally the Gauls 
from the north swept down 
upon Etruria at the beginning 
of the fourth century and broke 
up their declining empire for 
ever. It was probably during 
this period that the Romans ex- 
pelled their Etruscan princes, 
and replaced royalty by a pair 
of equal colleagues sharing 
most of the royal power and 
regal emblems except crown 
and sceptre. So we get to 
the Rome of the earliest 
credible tradition a Rome 
governed by two consuls and 
a senate of nobles. It is a city 
composed of farm-houses and The Roman Toga 

in each house the head of the family rules in patriarchal majesty. 




Thus it is necessary to throw overboard a great mass of 
edifying and famous history in the interest of youth. There 
were no contemporary records, the annals and fasti upon 
which Livy's immediate predecessors relied in the first century 
B.C. are demonstrably of late concoction. Everywhere we 
can see the influence of Greek artists importing fragments 
of Greek history, rationalising names and customs, antedating 
and reduplicating later constitutional struggles, writing appro- 
priate speeches for early parliamentarians who never existed, 
and generally demonstrating the power of Greek invention to 
flatter Roman credulity. The great families of 200 B.C. and 
onwards found themselves as rich and powerful as nabobs ; 
they had great historic names, and when there was a funeral 
in the family they sent out a long procession of waxen images 
to represent the noble ancestors of the deceased. At 
such times there would be funeral orations recounting the 
deeds of those heroic ancestors. Every family had its 
traditions, as glorious and as authentic as those of the 
descendants of Brian Boru. When literature came into 
fashion and needy Greek scribes offered a plausible stilus to 
any rich patron, Roman history began to exist, sometimes 
bearing respectable Roman names but always written in 
Greek. It is thus that we get the series of heroic actions 
attributed to Fabii and Horatii and deeds of wicked pride 
ascribed to ancestral Claudii. Whatever it may cost us in 
pangs for the fate of pretty tales I fear we must not scruple 
to use the knife freely in this region of literary history. A 
glance at the following coincidences will help to allay our 
scruples : Tarquin the Roman tyrant was driven out in the 
same year as Hippias the Athenian tyrant (510 B.C.) ; 
the Twelve Tables at Rome were drawn up in the same 
year as the code of Protagoras at Thurii (45 1 B.C.) ; 300 
Fabii died to a man in the battle of Cremera just about the 
same time as 300 Spartans died to a man with Leonidas at 


Thermopylae in 480 B.C. To put it briefly : Nothing anterior 
to the Gallic invasion of 390 B.C. and very little for nearly 
another century can be accepted on literary evidence alone. 

So far as we can read the stones, the earliest Rome con- 
sisted of a settlement on the Palatine Hill, with a citadel 
and a temple on the Capitol, and with a forum or market on 
the low ground between them. On the Esquiline Hill was a 
plebeian settlement. It was a pastoral and agricultural com- 
munity, expressing wealth in terms of cattle, ploughing and 
reaping so much of the Campagna as their farmers could 
reach in a day or their armies protect. From the very earliest/ 
times the community consisted of a few great houses of 
patrician blood with numerous clients and slaves. In every 
house the father was king absolute, with power of life and 
death over his sons, daughters, and slaves. Daughters passed 
from the hand of the father to the hand of the husband, like 
any other property, by a form of sale. Out of remote 
antiquity comes a piece of genuine Latin : 


" If a boy beats his father and the father complains let the 
boy be devoted to the gods of parents," i.e. slain as a sacrifice. 
It was a commonwealth of such parents no republican lovers 
of liberty, be sure whose chiefs met to discuss policy in the 
temple, as the Senate, and who themselves assembled in a 
body, fully armed, as the comitium, to vote upon the Senate's 
decrees conveyed by the consuls. 

Grim and despotic in peace these Roman aristocrats were 
fierce and tenacious in war. As soon as she was free, if not 
earlier, Rome appeared as a member of the Latin League 
which ruled over the Plain of Latium under the presidency of 
Alba Longa. This piece of tradition is attested by many 
survivals in ritual. Her earliest wars were against neighbours 
like Gabii, whose very name made the later Romans smile, 
so insignificant a village it was. It was in these little contests 



that the early Romans learnt their trade as warriors, and if 
any one seeks to know the causes of Rome's victorious career 
the answer is, I suppose, that she fought very bravely and 
obeyed her generals better than her enemies obeyed theirs. 
Discipline was her secret, and discipline came, no doubt, 
from the strict patriarchal system in her homes, a system 
assuredly not of Mediterranean birth. 

Whether the geese who cackled were authentic or merely 
setiological fowls I know not, but it is certain that Rome did 
not suffer so severely from the Gallic invasion as did her 
neighbours across the Tiber. Probably it was only the last 
wave of a great invasion which reached as far as Rome, burnt 
the Palatine settlement and the humble wattled dwellings of 
the poor on the Esquiline, and failed to storm the Capitol. 
At any rate the Gallic invasion of 390 B.C. seems to have 
started the Romans on their career of conquest, mainly at the 
expense of the Etruscans. But there were incessant wars 
with all her neighbours ; every summer the army marched 
out as a matter of course. If it was not a decaying Etruscan 
town to be taken by siege it was a Latin neighbour, or failing 
them a Volscian or Sabine community from the hills. Summer, 
while the corn could be left to do its own growing, was the 
time for battle. To have been at peace in summer would 
have been slackness, to wage war in winter a grave solecism. 
So in short space Rome became an important little town, 
head of the Latin League and probably the strongest unit in 
Central Italy. It appears that she began about now to 
emerge into international notice by the great powers, for we 
have a treaty of 348 B.C., which may probably be accepted as 
genuine though the actual date is not so certain, between 
Rome and Carthage, wherein the Romans, in consideration 
of promising not to trade in Carthaginian waters, are per- 
mitted to do business with the Carthaginian ports in Sicily 
and acknowledged as suzerains of the Latin League. Thus 
Rome has apparently by this time some overseas traffic. 

If no other art, diplomacy seems always to have been at 


home on Roman soil, and in all her works Rome shows a 
genius for statecraft. It must have been at some very early 
date that she discovered her great secret of divide et impera. 
She had already become so far the greatest power in the 
Latin League, that she had equal rights with all the others 
combined. The allies, it seems, claimed to supply the general 
of the allied army on alternate days and to have a half- 
share of the plunder. Against these very modest demands 
Rome was firm. She fought the League and beat it in 338 ; 
then she divided and ruled the cities. With each she made a 
separate treaty, granting to each two of the rights of citizen- 
ship the right to trade and the right to marry with her 
citizens. But she allowed no such rights between the other 
members of the League, however close neighbours they 
might be. In this way Rome became the staple market of 
all Latium ; all traffic passed through her hands and her 
wealth and population increased. 

These city-states had no means of ruling otherwise 
than tyrannically. Their whole constitution forbade it. We 
have seen elsewhere * that citizenship in a city-state implied 
membership of a corporate body, a close partnership in a 
company of unlimited liability with very definite privileges 
and responsibilities. Full citizenship at Rome meant a vote 
in electing the city magistrates and a vote in the comitium, 
which decided matters like peace and war. It was obvious 
that you had to be very jealous about extending these rights 
to outsiders. But Rome went part of the way, granted parts 
of the citizen rights, and thereby showed finer imperial state- 
craft than any Greek state had yet discovered. Her first 
offshoot was Ostia, the town she planted at the mouth of her 
river only fifteen miles off, her first Colonia. The men of 
Ostia remained citizens of Rome, and might vote in the 
elections if they thought it worth while, but were exempt 
from the duty of serving in the army because their own town 
formed a standing garrison in the Roman service. Then 
* See " The Glory that was Greece," pp. 10-11, &c. 

2 7 


when the Romans made conquests in Etruria or Campania 
or any region where the natives spoke a foreign language 
and therefore could not fight in the legions under Roman 
officers, they would receive the "citizenship without vote," 
which enabled them simply to trade and marry like Romans. 
Thirdly, some of the Latin towns became merely municipia, 
that is, country towns enjoying full Roman citizenship if they 
came to the city, but at home a local constitution with 
considerable powers of self-government and a magistracy 
modelled on that of Rome, namely, senators and consuls 
under other names. All this granting of rights without 
any tribute was, according to the ways of ancient city-states, 
surprising generosity or the deepest statesmanship. Already 
Rome begins to show the genius of empire-building : she was 
relentless and unscrupulous in conquering, but generous and 
broad-minded in governing. Such was the wisdom of her 
council of despots the Senate. 

Nevertheless these "allies" were more sensible of the 
liberties they had lost than of the rights they had gained by 
coming under the expanding wing of Rome. The latter 
part of the fourth century shows the growing state embarked 
upon a terrific struggle which lasted on and off from summer 
to summer for nearly fifty years. Her principal foes were 
the warlike Samnites of the Southern Apennines, closely 
akin, it seems, to the dominant race at Rome. This 
tremendous conflict is clearly the turning-point of Roman 
history. At various stages nearly all the peoples of Italy 
rose and enrolled themselves among the enemy, the Latins, 
the Etruscans, the Umbrians, the Marsi, the Gauls (for they 
too were brought in again by the Etruscans in their last 
efforts for freedom) and the Samnites themselves, a race of 
born fighters under competent generals. Once, in 321 B.C., 
both consuls and the entire army of Rome were entrapped at 
the Caudine Pass, but Rome never thought of surrender. 
Doggedly her Senate refused to know when it was beaten 
and continued the struggle. Fortunately it was one purpose 


against many, and Rome beat her enemies in detail until she 
was able to emerge victorious. 

The history of that great conflict has come down to us in 
an incomplete state full of fairy-tales and omissions, but it is 
clear that the Roman Senate showed extraordinary resolution 
and tenacity, as it did in the next century against foreign 
enemies. Beaten to its knees again and again it refused any 
terms of peace short of victory. That is a marvellous thing, 
if Rome was really one among many towns of Latium. It is 
to be noted that this was the war in which she learnt the new 
system of fighting whereby she was fated to conquer the 
world. Hitherto in ancient warfare a battle array had meant 
a solid line in which the men stood shoulder to shoulder in 
several ranks, pressing on with spear and shield against a 
similar line of the enemy. It was largely a question of 
weight in the impact. You tried to make your line deep 
enough to prevent yielding and long enough to envelop the 
enemy's flank : once you could turn or break the enemy's 
line victory was yours. But the Romans, either because 
they were often outnumbered on the field of battle, or, as 
some say, in fighting the Gallic warriors with their long 
swords, found it necessary to fight not shoulder to shoulder 
but in open order not in a solid phalanx but in open 
companies or "maniples." This had afar-reaching effect : it 
made every Roman soldier a self-reliant unit, who could fence 
skilfully with his favourite weapon, the sword, instead of merely 
pushing a long pike as his neighbours did. It is clear that only 
an army of natural soldiers could have adopted such an in- 
novation successfully. Once established, it made the Roman 
soldier invincible. The maniple of 200 men was not only far 
more mobile than a solid phalanx, but it covered a length of 
ground equal to that of three times its own numbers. Formerly 
only the front rank the principes had required a full suit of 
armour and it was only the richest who could afford it. Now 
the whole army had to be properly equipped, and this reacted 
upon the social and political system of the city. 




In ancient times a man's rights as citizen depended entirely 
upon his duties as a soldier. The comittum was the army, 
and the preponderance of voting power went to the rich who 
could afford a panoply. Now the soldiers were equalised 
and therefore the citizens claimed equality. We cannot put 
much faith in Livy's story of the struggle between the two 
orders for political equality ; the details, which include 
elaborate reports of the speeches delivered, are clearly free 
compositions based upon much later controversies between the 
republicans and democrats of Livy's own earlier days. There 
is a great deal of confusion and contradiction in the accounts 
of the various legislative measures by which the plebeians 
were gradually admitted to equality with the patricians. But 
the story of the Secession of the Plebs there are two such 
stories, but probably that is the result of duplication is so 
distinctive and peculiarly Roman that it scarcely seems like 
an invention. To put it shortly, the plebeians won their 
rights by means of that very modern weapon a strike. 
Being refused the rights for which they were agitating, they 
refused to join the citizen levy, but marched out under arms 
to the neighbouring Sacred Mount, and threatened to set up 
a new Rome of their own there. The political instinct was 
healthy and strong among them : the plebeians formed them- 
selves into a second corporation organised like the patricians. 
Where the patricians had their two consuls with two praetors 
under them, the plebeians had their two tribunes and two 
aediles. Where the patrician army had its comitium meeting 
in groups called "curies," the plebeians had their assembly 
^meeting in tribes. So the new magistracies and the new 
meetings became part and parcel of the Roman republic. 
The tribunes were protected not so much by laws as by an 
oath : their persons were declared sacred, and they had the 
right to thrust their sacred persons between the plebeian 
offender and the consul's lictor who came to arrest him, thus 


expressing the ultimate sovereignty of the army of Roman 
citizens. That is, in broad outline, how the story of political 
equality at Rome has come down to us. But it must not be 
supposed that even now the Roman republic was in anything 
but externals like the Greek democracy. The Roman comitia 
never debated like the Athenian ecclesia. They assembled 
to listen to such speeches as the magistrates or their invited 
friends might choose to make upon topics which had pre- 
viously been selected, discussed and decreed by the senate ; 
they were there to ratify the senate's decisions with " Yes " 
or " No." Even then they did not vote as individuals ; each 
" century," each " cury," or each " tribe," according to the form 
of meeting summoned, was a single voting unit. Everything 
in the system tended to put real power into the hands of the 
executive. When you get the executive able to control 
policy you get efficiency, but if you want liberty you must 
adopt other means. The senate at Rome gradually came to 
consist entirely of retired magistrates, and so to exhibit all 
the knowledge, competence, experience, and bigoted self-con- 
fidence which we expect from retired functionaries. 

The republican constitution had invented two devices to 
save itself from tyranny, and, according to tradition, had 
invented them at the very beginning of republicanism. One 
was the collegial system by which every magistracy was held 
in commission by two or more colleagues. There were two 
consuls from the first, sharing between them most of the 
royal prerogatives, heads of the executive in peace and 
supreme generals in war, with power of life and death, or full 
imperium, at any rate on the field of battle. There was at 
first only one praetor, for he was then merely the consuls' 
lieutenant in time of war ; but when, as soon happened, the 
praetor became a judge in time of peace, that office, too, was 
given to a pair of colleagues. There were, it is said, at 
first two tribunes of the plebs, principally charged with the 
protection and leadership of their own order ; but as the city 
grew their numbers were increased to ten. So there were 

two sediles, who principally looked after affairs of police in 
the city. There were two censors, ranking highest of all in 
the hierarchy of office because their sphere was so largely 
connected with religion. Their duty was to number the 
people and to expiate that insult to heaven with a solemn rite 
of purification. In numbering they also had to assess every 
man's property for the purpose of fixing his rank in the army 
and in the state. All these magistrates had powers of juris- 
diction in various spheres. All the priests and prophets, too, 
of whom there were many varieties, were formed into colleges. 
Only the pontifex maximus stood alone without a colleague 
and he had an official wife. We are too familiar with the 
working of " boards " and " commissions " to misunderstand 
the purpose of this system. Theory required unanimity in 
each board ; each member of it had power to stop action by 
the others, one powerful weapon to that end being the reli- 
gious system whereby nothing could be attempted without 
favourable omens. You had only to announce unpropitious 
auspices to stop any action whatever. 

The other great check against official tyranny was the 
system of annual tenure. All magistrates, except the censors, 
who had a lengthy task before them and therefore held office 
for five years, were annual. While this was some safeguard 
for liberty, it told heavily against efficiency, especially in the 
case of military leadership by the consuls. It also meant the 
gradual creation of a great number of office-holders, past and 
present. It was not quite so effective as the corresponding 
Athenian system of balloting for office in checking personal 
eminence, but it certainly succeeded in putting a great 
number of nonentities and failures into high office even the 
supreme command of the legions. 


It is only very dimly that we can trace the outlines of 
public history as Rome grew to be a power in Italy. We 
can scarcely hope to trace the lineaments of the individual 
3 2 


Roman even in outline. It is sometimes said that even if the 
earliest history of the city is admitted to be apocryphal, we 
can draw valuable deductions as to the Roman character 
from the sort of actions which were regarded as praise- 
worthy in the earliest times. There is some truth in 
that view, though it might be objected that most of these 
stories took literary shape only in the second and first cen- 
turies B.C. It might be added that men often admire qualities 
just because they feel that they themselves cannot claim them. 
But, on the whole, I think we can get from this period 
of legendary history some insight into Roman character. 
There is a remarkable difference between the Roman 
hero and the Greek. Greek mythology busies itself very 
largely with stories of cleverness how Heracles outwitted 
his foes, smart Equivoques by the oracles, ingenious devices of 
Themistocles, wise sayings of Thales and Solon. It is 
mainly the intellectual virtues that Greek history of the 
borderland admires. But the Roman of the same historical 
area is not clever. Most of the old Roman stories are in 
praise of courage for example, the contempt of pain shown 
by Scaevola, who held his right hand in the flames to demon- 
strate Roman fortitude ; the courage of the maiden Clcelia, 
who swam the river, or of Horatius, who held the bridge 
against an army; the devotion to his country of Quintus 
Curtius, who leapt in full armour into the chasm which had 
opened in the Forum. Many of them celebrate the true 
Roman virtue of sternness and austere devotion to law, as 
when the Roman fathers condemned their sons to death for 
breaking the law under most excusable circumstances. The 
love of liberty is extolled in Brutus, the love of equality in 
Valerius and Cincinnatus, called from the plough-tail to 
supreme command. Austere chastity in females and the 
strict demand for it in their proprietors is praised in the 
stories of Lucretia and Virginia. All these we may well set 
down as the virtues admired and, we hope, practised in early 
Rome ; they form a consistent and quite distinctive picture. 

c 33 


But the early Roman had few accomplishments to embel- 
lish his virtues. Art and civilisation either did not exist or 
have perished without leaving any traces. It is likely enough 
that all the city's energies were occupied with the one busi 
ness of fighting. Some hints of civilising reform hang about 
the name of Appius Claudius, who was censor about 318- 
312 B.C. In his time we date some of the military changes 
mentioned above, and they seem to have accompanied 
economic changes which point to growing wealth at Rome. 
Copper gave place to silver as the standard of exchange, and 
therewith the copper as depreciated in value, so that the 
Roman unit of historical times, the sestertius of 2\ as value, 
was a coin worth about 2,d, Land was no longer the sole 
basis of property ; it became possible for a man to become 
rich by trade, and accordingly landless citizens were now 
drafted into the ancient tribes for the first time. To this 
great censor also belongs the first of the famous Roman 
military roads, the Appian Way, which led southwards to the 
Greek cities of Campania. Even to-day the Via Appia, 
flanked with its ruined tombs for the Romans often buried 
their dead along the highways running like a dart across 
the barren Campagna, is one of the most striking spectacles 
which modern Rome has to offer.* 

Of anything which can be dignified with the name of 
literature we have scarcely a relic. What there is seems 
ludicrously rustic and uncouth. Consider, for an example, 
the ancient hymn of the Salii, the jumping priests of Mars. 
There were twelve of them, all men of patrician family ; 
they dressed in embroidered tunics, with the striped toga, a 
breastplate of bronze, a conical cap with a spike ; they carried 
each a sacred shield, and as they made their annual proces- 
sions through the city at the beginning of each campaigning 
year, they leaped into the air and thumped their shields 
with sticks ; trumpeters preceded them, and they sang this 
ghostly chant : 

* Plate .'" 








TRIVMPE (quinquies) 
which is probably to be translated : 

Help us, O Lares (thrice) 

And, O Mars, let not plague or ruin attack our 

people (thrice) 
Be content, fierce Mars. Leap the threshold. Halt. 

Strike (thrice) 

In alternate strain call upon all the heroes, (thrice) 
Help us, Mars (thrice) 
Leap (jive times). 


In our quest for the essential Roman we shall find nothing 
more illuminating than religion. With some people culture 
takes the place of religion, but it is far commoner to find 
religion taking the place of culture: it did so with the 
Hebrews, and it does so to a great extent among the 
English. The Romans were never a really religious people. 
Probably they lacked the imagination to be really devout. 
They had scarcely any native mythology. But they were 
ritualists and formalists to the heart's core. If those Salii 
had jumped only four times at the word " Triumpe," the 
whole value of the rite would have been lost : if no worse 
thing befell them they would have had to begin again from the 
beginning. Thus religion, always conservative, and generally 
the richest hunting-ground for the antiquarian in search of 
prehistoric history, is almost our only source of information 
as to the mind of the early Roman. Of course, Roman 
religion is so deeply overlaid with Greek mythology that it 
takes some digging to discover the real gods of old Rome. 
But that is being done by the patience and insight of such 
scholars as Mr. Warde Fowler and Dr. J. G. Frazer, so that 



we now have a good deal of information about the original 
Roman religion. 

Mr. Warde Fowler makes two important conclusions 
about the early Romans from his study of the twofold 
character of Mars, who, in spite of the later primacy of 
Jupiter, is undoubtedly the true Roman male god: "(i) that 
their life and habits of thought were those of an agricultural 
race, and (2) that they continually increased their cultivable 
land by taking forcible possession in war of that of their 
neighbours." This was the Roman method of making agri- 
culture pay. The spring of the year and the month which 
still bears the name of Mars was not only the season of 
returning life to nature, but it was also the time when the 
god and his worshippers buckled on their armour to seek 
fresh ploughlands, just as did the primitive Germans. It was 
Europe's first method of extensive farming, and the habit 
clung to the Romans long after they had ceased to be farmers. 
In the spring it was time to look about you and consider where 
and with whom you should begin to fight this year. 

Some of these old Roman festivals are worth a brief 
description, for they and they alone are the authentic history 
of the early Romans. For example, on the Ides of March 
the lower classes streamed out to the Campus Martius on the 
banks of the river and spent the day in rustic jollity with wine 
and song in honour of Anna Perenna the recurring year. 
On another day there was a ceremony like that of the Hebrew 
scapegoat. Two dates in the calendar are marked for the 
king to dissolve the comitia. The assembly had to be sum- 
moned by the blast of special trumpets of peculiar un-Italian 
shape (some say Etruscan), and the trumpets had to be purified 
by a special service on the previous day. Although the 
Romans abolished their political kingship, religion required 
the retention of the title for numerous ceremonial purposes. 
Then there were the Parilia in honour of the old shepherd 
god Pales, when sheepfolds were garlanded with green, the 
sheep were purified at the dawn, and rustic sacrifices were 


paid to avert the wrath of the deity in case you had unwit- 
tingly disturbed one of the mysterious powers who dwell in 
the country the nymphs and fauns of pool and spring and 
tree. There was a prayer to this effect of which Ovid has 
given us the substance, and "this prayer," adds Mr. Warde 
Fowler, " must be said four times over, the shepherd looking 
to the east, and wetting his hands with the morning dew. 
The position, the holy water, and the prayer in its substance, 
though now addressed to the Virgin, have all descended to 
the Catholic shepherds of the Campagna." There were other 
primitive agricultural deities, such as Robigus (the red rust 
on the corn), on whose festival you sacrificed red puppies ; 
Terminus (the boundary god), to whom you slaughtered a 
sucking-pig on the boundary stone ; or Ops Consiva, the deity 
who protected your buried store of corn. Such names and 
their attributes indicate a certain poverty of religious imagi- 
nation. There were more abstract, or, rather, less tangible 
powers, such as Lares, the spirits of the dead ancestors who 
figured as guardian angels of the home ; the Penates, the 
spirits who watched over the store-cupboard ; the Genius, a 
man's luck ; the Manes, the kindly dead ; or the Lemures, 
dangerous ghosts of the unburied. The house, like the fields, 
was full of unseen presences to be appeased with appropriate 
ritual, which had to be most punctiliously performed. Every 
year at the Lemuria the master of the house would rise at 
midnight and, with clean hands and bare feet, walk through 
the house, making a special sign with his fingers and thumbs 
to keep off the ghosts. He fills his mouth with black beans 
and spits them out as he goes, carefully keeping his eyes 
averted, and saying, " With these I redeem me and mine. 
Nine times he speaks these words without looking round, and 
the ghosts come behind him unseen to gather up the beans. 
Then the father washes himself again, and clashes the pots 
together to frighten the spirits away. When he has repeated 
the words " Depart, ye kindly spirits of our ancestors " nine 
times, he looks round at last and the ceremony is complete. 



The history of Rome, as Mr. Warde Fowler discerns it in 
religion, begins with an extremely simple rustic worship of 
natural forms, meteoric stones, sacred trees and animals such 
as the Mother Wolf or Mars' woodpeckers ; to this stage 
belong many of the curious spells and charms against ghosts. 
This sort of worship is not distinctively Roman, but common 
to the greater part of Central Europe. From these savage 
local cults we pass to the more centralised worship which 
belongs to the household, and that household an agricultural 
one. The father is the priest, and his principal deity is Janus, 
the god of the doorway ; his sons are the subordinate flamines ; 
and his daughters have special charge of Vesta, who presides 
over the family hearth-fire. Their agricultural activities are 
reflected in the more orderly rural ceremonies in honour of 
Saturn, Ops, and Vesta. Thirdly, we have a series of cults 
which indicate the beginnings of a community with the king 
for chief priest, supported by State Vestals and flamines. 
The Latin Festival marks the participation of Rome in the 
Latin League, whose presiding deity was Jupiter. In these 
three stages it is mainly an affair of formless powers or 
"numina," deities very scantily realised, with little or no 
personality, scarcely to be termed anthropomorphic at all. 
Instead of temples there was nothing but altars, chapels, 

If we view these changes in the light of ethnology we 
shall probably agree that the first of them is the common 
ground of prehistoric Mediterranean worship. It is what 
we find in Crete at the earliest period. But we have come 
to regard the strict monogamous patriarchal family as 
especially the contribution of the north to the civilisation of 
Europe. Unfortunately those deities who are most certainly 
plebeian, such as Ceres, Flora, and Diana, do not seem to 
belong to the earlier strata of religion. 

However that may be, it seems that we can trace in the 
next succeeding stage a period of public worship connected 
with clearly anthropomorphic deities who have temples, 


priests, and probably images of their own. Towards the end 
of the monarchic period we find those distinctly Etruscan 
characteristics of which I have already spoken. Jupiter, Juno, 
and Minerva are an Etruscan trinity. -Now begins the pre- 
eminence of greater gods more or less personified and closely 
resembling those of the Greeks such as Mercury, Ceres, 
and Diana. It is now that the important priestly colleges, 
pontifices, and augurs are founded, largely replacing, as being 
more important politically, the old agricultural brotherhood of 
the Fratres Arvales and the martial fraternity of the Salii. 

Thus in religion as in art the Romans were prepared by 
their Etruscan connections for their subsequent capture by 
Greek civilisation. It was inevitable that a Greek should 
recognise Diana as Artemis, Minerva as Pallas, Mercury as 
Hermes, and Juno as Hera. It was equally inevitable that 
the Romans should be willing to clothe these bare and chilly 
abstractions with the charming fabric of Greek mythology. 
That process, and the simultaneous reception at Rome of 
Oriental cults, form still later stages in the progress of that 
strange medley which passed in the Rome of literature for 

There is little to elevate or inspire in Roman religion. The 
only virtue belonging to it was reverence and the strict sense 
of duty which a Roman called pietas, explaining it as "justice 
towards the gods." " Religion " meant " binding obligation " 
to the Romans ; its source was fear of the unseen, its issue 
was mainly punctilious formalism. No doubt the gods would 
punish disrespect to a parent or rebellion against the state, 
no doubt a fugitive or a slave had altars and sanctuaries 
where he might claim mercy ; but there is little more than 
that to connect virtue with religion at Rome. On the other 
hand, we are not to suppose that when the lascivious rites of 
Isis and Ashtaroth or the Paphian Venus came to Rome in 
later days they came to corrupt a race of pious puritans. 
True Roman deities like Flora, Fortuna Virilis, and Anna 
Perenna had a native bestiality of their own. The simple 


rustic is seldom a natural puritan, and we must beware of 
idealising our Early Roman as a Scottish Covenanter. There 
was savage cruelty in many of the early rites, such as the Ver 
Sacrum when all the offspring of men and cattle within a 
specified period was devoted to the gods, or the Fordicidia 
when unborn calves were burnt. Human sacrifice looms 
large in the early religion, and it was probably only a later 
refinement which limited it to criminals or volunteers. 

Mommsen has drawn our attention to the business-like 
relation between worshipper and god, for that is also typical 
of the old Roman character. "The gods," he says, "con- 
fronted man just as a creditor confronted a debtor. . . . Man 
even dealt in speculation with his god : a vow was in reality 
as in name a formal contract between the god and the man 
by which the latter promised to the former for a certain 
service to be rendered a certain equivalent return." Nay, 
he might venture to defraud his god. " They presented to 
the lord of the sky heads of onions or poppies, that he might 
launch his lightnings at these rather than at the heads of 
,-nen. In payment of the offering annually demanded by 
father Tiber, thirty puppets plaited of rushes were annually 
thrown into the stream." It may be true, as Mr. Warde 
Fowler argues, that the bargain sometimes took the form of a 
lively sense of favours to come, but a votum was essentially 
a business transaction. 

The deity was very dimly visualised : the cult was every- 
thing, the god nothing. The true Latin god does not marry 
or beget children did not, at least, till the Greek theologians 
came over and married them all suitably and provided them 
with families. Before history began the Romans had for- 
gotten the little they had ever known about their most ancient 
deities. The rite, perhaps the altar, was preserved, but no 
one remembered the object of it. This is a typical Roman 
prayer as we have it in old Cato : " This is the proper Roman 
way to cut down a grove. Sacrifice with a pig for a peace- 
offering. This is the verbal formula : Whether thou art a 




god or a goddess to whom that grove is sacred, may it be 
justice in thine eyes to sacrifice a pig for a peace-offering in 
order that the sanctity may be restrained. For this cause, 
whether I perform the sacrifice or any one else at my orders, 
may it be rightly done. For that cause in sacrificing this pig 
for a peace-offering I pray thee honest prayers that thou mayest 
be kind and propitious to me and my house and my slaves and 
my children. For these causes be thou blessed with the 
sacrifice of this pig for a peace-offering." To misplace a 
word in this formula would have been fatal. The vagueness 
of the address is typical : the wood is sacred, no doubt, to 
some invisible numen; the woodman must guard himself 
against addressing the wrong power. Much of the Roman 
worship is thus offered "to the Unknown God." 


It was this quality of precision and formalism which made x 
Rome the lawgiver of Europe. In the battle between law 
and sentiment the Roman sword has been thrown with 
decisive effect into the scale of law. All Roman law was 
originally a series of formulae, and like all ancient law a part 
of religion. First the king and then the priests were the 
only people who knew these formulae. Thus the king \vas, 
the sole judge both in private and public right ; he might 
summon a council of advisers or he might delegate his powers 
to an inferior officer, such as the praetor or the prefect of the 
city, or the trackers of murder. Both these rights, that of 
choosing a consilium and of delegating authority, with, how- 
ever, a right of appeal from the lower to the higher functionary, 
remained inherent in the Roman magistracy. In all cases, 
private or public, the king or the magistrate who replaced 
him had to pronounce the/z first : that is, to state the proper 
formula for the case in question ; then he would send the 
case for trial of fact, or judicium, before judge or jury. The 
formula would run " if it appears that A. B. has been guilty of 
condemn him to ; if not, acquit him." Jus, human 

right, was inseparably connected with fas, divine right : no 
layman could properly interpret either. For a long time it 
was necessary for one of the priests to be present in court to 
see that the proper formularies of action were observed with 
strict verbal accuracy. This was, of course, an enormously 
powerful weapon in the hands of the patricians. 

Then in the course of the struggle between the orders 
came the usual demand for written laws. The famous story 
of the Decemviri and their commission to Athens in 451 B.C. 
is unfortunately very dubious history. It is full of romantic 
elements, it is part of that systematic depreciation of the 
Claudii in Roman history which Mommsen has traced to its 
probable source, it has elements which look as if they were 
borrowed from the story of the thirty tyrants at Athens, and 
there is no confirmation from the Athenian side. Professor 
Pais believes that the fifth century is much too early for such 
a code. There are, it is true, in the fragments of the Twelve 
Tables which have come down to us, some enactments closely 
resembling those of the Greek codes regulations, for example, 
limiting the expense of funerals but we find such laws in 
other codes than that of Solon. One would like to have 
fuller details about that later Appius Claudius, the famous 
censor of 312 B.C. It is said that he desired to reduce the 
now complicated bulk of legal formulae to writing simply for 
the benefit of the priests, but that a low-born scribe, one 
Flavius, whom he employed for the purpose as his clerk, 
fraudulently revealed these judicial secrets to the public. The 
whole tendency of the Claudian falsifications is to make out 
that the Claudii were tyrannical and anti-democratic. It 
certainly looks as if the dishonesty of the freedman had been 
put into the story for the purpose of robbing the famous 
censor of his credit for helping the people to a knowledge 
of law. 

The whole fabric of Roman law was supposed to rest upon 
the foundation of the Twelve Tables. Only fragments of 
them have come down to us. They are undoubtedly very 

ancient and primitive, more so, it would seem, than the 
Athenian law of 451 B.C. Fines are to be paid in metal by 
weight. A creditor has the right to carve up the body of his 
debtor. Plebeian may not intermarry with patrician. But 
they also carried something of a charter of liberties for the 
citizens in that capital punishment could not be inflicted 
without right of appeal to the assembly, and no law could 
be proposed against an individual. The language of this 
famous code is of a rugged simplicity and directness that 
is truly Roman. On the whole Roman law is merciful, con- 
sidering its strict character : though much of Roman pleading, 
as we have it in the mouth of Cicero, is full of appeals to 
sentiment, Roman law itself allows no appeal to anything so 
vague as abstract justice. The written letter stands, and 
there can be no pleading without a legal formula. 

The character of the ancient Roman is best described by 
his favourite virtue of gravitas. In that word is implied 
serious purpose, dignified- reserve, fidelity to one's promise, 
and a sense of duty. Levity is its opposite, and among the 
things repugnant to true Roman gravity were art, music, and 
literature. It is on the battlefield, in the senate-house, and 
the law-courts that the old Roman is most truly at home. 




qua neque Dardaniis campis potuere perire 

nee quom capta capi, nee quom combusta cremari, 

augusto augurio postquam incluta condita Roma est. 


HE great Samnite wars, which had 
lasted on and off from 343 to 290 
B.C., had been the school of Roman 
valour. In her citizen legions 
Rome had evolved a fighting 
machine unequalled, probably, until 
the Musketeers of Louis XIV. 
and Marlborough. Also she was 
learning politics and the art 
of government. She was now 
mistress over the greater part of 
Italy ; all, in fact, except the Gallic plain in the north and 
the Greek cities of the south. The Pyrrhic war which followed 
after a short breathing-space forms the transition between 
domestic expansion and foreign conquest. Our business here 
is not with wars and battles for their own sake, but it will be 
important to observe in what manner Rome was launched on 
her career of empire-making. Seeley has shown how the 
British Empire grew up in a haphazard manner, without any 
wise policy to direct its growth, with continual neglect of 
opportunities, and often in contemptuous ignorance of the 
work that private citizens were undertaking for its honour 
and advancement. We shall see that it was very much the 


same with the Roman Empire. One responsibility leads to 
another, one conquest leads to many entanglements : if the 
coast is to be held the hinterland must be conquered. Thus 
power follows capacity, and the doctrine which seems so 
unjust, " To him that hath shall be given, from him that hath 
not shall be taken away even that which he seemeth to have," 
is fulfilled in all the dealings between Providence and imperial 
peoples. By coming into contact with the Greeks of the 
south Rome was brought definitely to deal with a superior 
but declining civilisation. The career of Agathocles, the 
brigand tyrant of Sicily, had lately shown how easy a thing it 
was to make empires among the opulent and luxurious cities 
of the Calabrian and Bruttian shores. 

One summer's day in 282 B.C. the people of Tarentum 
were seated in their open-air theatre, watching the per- 
formance of a tragedy. They looked out above the stage 
over the blue waters of the Gulf of Calabria, and there they 
saw a small detachment of the Roman fleet sailing into their 
harbour. The ships were on a voyage entirely peaceful, but 
there was an old treaty forbidding the Romans to pass the 
Lacinian Promontory, and these barbarians had lately been 
interfering in the affairs of their Greek neighbours, always in 
favour of oligarchy against democracy. The mob was seized 
with a sudden access of fury ; they rushed down to the 
harbour, butchered or enslaved the sailors, and put the 
admiral to death. The Roman Senate met this atrocious 
insult with calm, even with generosity. But the Tarentine 
mob would have no peace. Looking abroad for a champion 
they invited the Prince of Epirus to their aid. Pyrrhus was j 
a young man of charm, ability, and ambition almost equal to \ 
that of Alexander the Great, whose career he longed to l 
emulate in the West. He was called the first general of his 
day, and he brought with him 20,000 infantrymen of the 
phalanx, 2000 archers, 500 slingers, and 3000 cavalry. More- 
over he had twenty Indian war elephants. The boastful 
Greeks had offered to provide 350,000 infantry, but when it 



came to the point they would do nothing but hire a few 
mercenaries. However, Pyrrhus was victorious in the first 
battle near Heraclea. The victory was won, it is said, by the 
final charge of the elephants. The simple Romans had never 
seen an elephant before; they called them "snake-hands" 
and " Lucanian cows," and their horses were even more 
alarmed than they. But the next time the Romans had to 
meet elephants they provided themselves first with wonderful 
machines, in which chariots were mysteriously blended with 
chafing-dishes, and then when these failed, with fiery darts, 
which converted this heavy cavalry into engines of destruction 
for their owners. That is rather typical of the simple Roman 
and his way of encountering monsters. 

After the victory of Heraclea, Pyrrhus sent to Rome with 
overtures of peace a smooth-tongued courtier named Cineas, 
who was much impressed with the incorruptibility of the 
political chiefs and their wives. It was he who described the 
Senate as a " council of kings," so grave and majestic was 
their bearing and discourse. Nevertheless the Roman Senate 
would have made terms if it had not been for the great Censor 
Appius Claudius, now blind and infirm, who laid down for the 
first time the celebrated doctrine that Rome never listened to 
terms while there were foreign troops on Italian soil. There- 
fore, although the Romans had lost 15,000 men, fresh 
conscripts eagerly enrolled themselves to make a new army. 

Meanwhile Pyrrhus, after another incomplete "Pyrrhic" 
victory, was proceeding unchecked over the island of Sicily. 
There he drove the Carthaginians from point to point until 
they concentrated in their great stronghold of Lilybaeum in 
the west. But all the time his position was desperate. The 
coalition on which he depended was composed of faithless and 
useless allies. While his stiff Epirot phalanx was depleted at 
every victory, fresh levies of Roman citizens seemed to spring 
from the soil to replace the losses of every defeat. So at 
length it came to the battle of the Arusine Plain, near 
Beneventum, in which the Romans were completely victorious. 


Thus Pyrrhus leaves to history the reputation not of a con- 
queror but of an adventurer. The Romans had thus faced 
and overthrown the Greek phalanx at its best, and were now 
masters of Italy from Genoa to Reggio, with Sicily obviously 
inviting their next advance. That Rome was now formally 
accepted among the great powers of the Mediterranean world 
is shown by an embassy offering alliance with Ptolemy of 

She had a breathing-space of eleven years before the first 
of her two great conflicts with the Carthaginians. Carthage, 
a colony of the Phoenicians of Tyre, had grown rich and pro- 
sperous on the fertile soil of the modern Tunis. She was an 
aristocracy wholly devoted to trade, and living uncomfortably 
amid a surrounding population of dangerous native subjects. 
War was not her main business, but when she sought fresh 
markets she was apt to fight with horrible ferocity, sacrificing 
her prisoners in hundreds to hideous gods when she was 
victorious, and impaling her generals when she was not. As 
a military power she varied greatly : the comparatively puny 
Greek states of Sicily had been maintaining a fairly equal 
struggle against her for centuries. But she used the British 
system of sepoy troops, and thus everything depended on the 
general. Had it not been for the inexperience of the Romans 
at sea and the extraordinary genius of Hannibal, Carthage 
would never ri^ve come as near victory as she did. We 
have no history of the struggle from the Punic side, and 
Carthage herself must remain somewhat of a mystery even 
when illuminated by the brilliant imagination of the author of 

In entering upon this war, which Rome did ostensibly in 
response to an appeal from a parcel of ruffianly outlaws for 
whom she had no sympathy whatever, we can for once dis- 
cover no motive but desire of conquest. Messina, the home of 
the said ruffians, was for her merely the tte du pont which 
led from Bruttium into Sicily. The conquest of that rich Greek 
island was plainly the objective, but she plunged into war 



without foreseeing the immensity of her undertaking. The 
chief interest of the First Punic War, which lasted from 264 
to 241, lies in the creation of a Roman navy which occurred 
in the course of it. Although we may agree with Mommsen 
that "it is only a childish view to believe that the Romans 
then for the first time dipped their oars in water," yet tradi- 
tion says that the Romans constructed a fleet in a great 
hurry, taking for model a stranded Carthaginian galley. It 
was at any rate her first war-fleet worth mentioning. The 
tradition is proved by the lack of seamanship displayed by the 
Romans, for every storm cost her enormous losses by ship- 
wreck. The device by which she overcame the Punic ships 
a sort of grappling gangway on pulleys affixed to her 
masts, so that her soldiers could fight the enemy as if on 
shore was a successful but essentially a landlubberly inven- 
tion, and no doubt accounts for many of her losses by ship- 
wreck. Her annual consuls, transformed for the occasion 
into annual admirals, had not even as much opportunity as 
Colonel Blake to learn their trade. And, though Rome 
launched fleet after fleet until at length she became mistress 
of the seas, she never treated her navy with respect. The 
ships were rowed by slaves and manned chiefly by subject 
allies, but the real business of fighting was done by the 120 
legionaries on each vessel, who came into action when the 
enemy was grappled and the gangway fast in her deck. So 
the war dragged on for nearly a generation until at length 
the Carthaginians made peace, and Rome gained the coveted 
island. Britain is not the only empire in history which wins 
victories by "muddling through." 

The peace was clearly nothing more than a respite : the 
command of the Western Mediterranean was not yet settled. 
Rome spent the interval in making fresh conquests. First 
she seized the opportunity, while Carthage was involved 
with her native rebels, to annex the islands of Sardinia and 
Corsica, alleging with more ingenuity than geographical 
exactitude that these were some of the islands between Sicily 


and Africa which Carthage had agreed to surrender. Here 
we behold the simple Roman as a diplomat. Then she 
was compelled to intervene in Illyria in order to clear 
the Adriatic of piracy, and so acquired territory across the 
water. Soon afterwards the Gauls of the northern plain 
began under pressure from their kinsmen across the Alps to 
threaten invasion ; and Rome, after failing to gain the favour 
of heaven by the pious expedient of burying a male and 
female Gaul alive in her Forum, marched out to meet them, 
slaughtered them in thousands, and thus rounded off her 
control over the peninsula. Much of this looks like conscious 

In the Second Punic War, which lasted from 218 to 
the end of the century, Rome was not the aggressor. At 
Carthage by this time the native rebellion had been put 
down with a heavy hand. It seems that Carthage had its party 
system, the democracy, as usual in ancient cities, being for 
war, and the aristocracy of rich merchants for peace. The 
democracy was led by the celebrated Barca family, who had 
long supplied the state with famous generals and now 
occupied a position of unrivalled eminence. Constitutional!) 
a Carthaginian could rise no further than to be one of the 
two shophets who corresponded to the Roman consuls, but 
actually the Barcas were more like a family of dictators. 
From the first Hamilcar Barca foresaw that Rome was still 
the enemy, and he is said to have made his little son Hannibal 
swear an oath at the altar that he would prosecute that enmity 
to the death. But first it was necessary to acquire resources 
and an army for the purpose. This he resolved to do, as 
Julius Ccesar did after him, by foreign conquest. Without 
orders from home he led his army into Spain, and there began 
to build up a province and a native army under his absolute 
control. Though Cadiz was already a Carthaginian market 
and there was already a Greek colony at Saguntum, and the 
ships of Tarshish were known even to King Solomon, this 
is the first real appearance of Spain in history. There was 

D 49 


metal to be had from the mines, gold, copper, and silver, and 
there were hardy warriors in the hills who only needed train- 
ing to become excellent soldiers. So Carthage began to 
acquire a western substitute for her lost province of Sicily. 
Hamilcar died ; his son-in-law, Hasdrubal, was assassinated ; 
and then the army chose for its leader Hamilcar's son 
Hannibal, then a young man of twenty-nine. 

This man, though his history was written exclusively by 
his enemies, stands out as one of the greatest leaders in 
history. In strategy he was supreme ; in statesmanship he 
had the gift which Maryborough shared of being able by his 
personal influence to hold unwilling allies together even in 
adverse circumstances. He was a cultivated man who spoke 
and wrote Greek and Latin. He is charged by the jealousy 
of the Romans with cruelty and perfidy, but in fact history 
has nothing to substantiate these charges : on the contrary 
his actions are often magnanimous and honourable. His 
brilliance as a general largelysprang from his power of entering 
into the mind of his enemy. This was the man who inherited 
his father's deep-laid plans of vengeance, and set out, his heart 
burning with hatred of Rome, to fulfil them. 

We cannot dwell upon his wonderful march over the 
Alps and his brilliant series of victories on the soil of Italy. 
Hannibal's whole plan of campaign was, briefly, to invade 
Italy by land with a compact striking force and raise the 
unwilling subjects of Rome against her, while the main force 
of Carthage attacked Sicily and Italy by sea. But it contained 
three serious miscalculations which brought it eventually to 
ruin. First, the southern Gauls on whom Hannibal relied for 
his communications and his base proved fickle and untrust- 
worthy allies ; secondly, he found that Rome's mild imperial 
system had not produced unwilling subjects such as Carthage 
possessed in Africa ; and thirdly, he hoped for support from 
Philip of Macedon, but here he was foiled by Roman diplo- 
macy. Moreover, while the Romans showed a tenacity and 
power of recuperation unexampled in history, Carthage her- 









self, now in the hands of the commercial oligarchs, gave him 
grudging and uncertain support. The firmness and courage 
of the Roman senate and people were amazing. Beaten again 
and again in the field at the Ticino, the Trebia, Lake 
Trasimene, and Cannae, Rome never lost her pride. She 
refused offers of help from King Hiero of Syracuse, she could 
find time to order the Illyrian chiefs to pay their tribute, she 
actually summoned Philip of Macedon to surrender her 
fugitive rebel Demetrius. She kept an army in Spain ; a 
fleet still cruised in Greek waters ; she had an army in Sicily, 
while four legions besieged Capua ; she had troops in 
Sardinia, three legions in North Italy, two legions as a 
garrison in the capital no fewer than 200,000 citizens under 
arms. When the foolish demagogue Varro returned in defeat 
and disgrace from the awful disaster at Cannae, the senate 
thanked him for not having committed suicide " for not 
having despaired of the salvation of his country." 

No doubt Rome owed something, but not as much as her 
poets and orators pretended, to the cautious tactics of Quintus 
Fabius. At any rate, he gave her time to grow used to the 
presence of the invader and to recover from the shock of the 
three disasters with which the war opened. The Romans 
had never before been called upon to face a consummate 
strategist. Pyrrhus had been, within the limitations of Greek 
warfare, a clever tactician ; he had even shown the originality 
to copy the Roman manipular system in his later battles. 
But Hannibal was more than a strategist ; he was a psycholo- 
gist who knew when the opposing general was rash and when 
he was wary, who had spies everywhere and could supplement 
their intelligence by disguising himself to do his own scout- 
ing. Scouting was an art that the Romans had yet to learn 
by bitter experience. At the Trasimene Lake* they blundered 
straight into the most obvious of natural death-traps. But the 
Romans were always good learners, and, as usually happens, 
the amateur patriot army steadily improved during the war 

* Plate 9. 



while the hired professionals steadily deteriorated. The 
actual strategy by which Hannibal won most of his battles 
was simple enough. It was the policy of a long weak centre 
into which the Roman legions buried themselves deep while 
the two strong wings of the enemy closed round on their 
flanks and rear. In his Numidian horsemen Hannibal had the 
finest light cavalry yet known to European warfare. 

For a time all went brilliantly for the invader. Italians, 
Greeks, and Gauls joined his victorious standard. Rome was 
on the brink of despair. The very gods began to tremble ; 
their statues sweated blood, two-headed lambs were born with 
alarming frequency, and cows in Apulia uttered prophetic 
warnings with human voices ; the most horrible of omens 
portended destruction. But the city and the senate never 
lost heart and gradually as the years passed by Hannibal 
began to see that his cause was lost. The Latin allies stood 
firm for Rome. The Romans were able to hold Sicily and 
even despatch a brilliant and lucky young general named 
Scipio to reconquer Spain. Thus the longed-for reinforcements 
were cut off. The stupid aristocracy of Carthage were jealous 
of their great soldier, and when at last a reinforcing Punic 
army from Spain managed to slip through into Italy, Nero 
caught it at the River Metaurus just before the junction was 
effected. The first news of that battle came to Hannibal when 
the Romans tossed over the rampart into his camp the bleed- 
ing head of the defeated general, his own brother Hasdrubal. 
Horace has sung of this tragic episode in his noblest manner : 

quid debeas, o Roma, Neronibus 
testis Metaurum flumen et Hasdrubal 

devictus et pulcer fugatis 

ille dies Latio tenebris. 

dixitque tandem perfidus Hannibal : 

" cerui, luporum prseda rapacium, 
sectamur ultro quos opimus 
fallere et effugere est triumphus 




" Carthagini iam non ego nuntios 

mittam superbos. occidit, occidit 
spes omnis et fortuna nostri 
nominis Hasdrubale interempto."* 

This was in 207 : in 206 Scipio won a decisive victory in 
Spain and in 205 made a counter-invasion upon the coast 
of Carthage. It was only "a forlorn hope of volunteers and 
disrated companies," but it caused the recall of Hannibal and 
gained valuable African allies for Rome. The last scene of 
the duel was the victory of Zama in 202 in which Scipio won 
his title of Africanus and became the hero and saviour of 
Rome.t Carthage ceded Spain and the Spanish islands, lost 
her whole war-fleet, came under Roman suzerainty and 
agreed to pay an enormous indemnity. But her end was 
not yet. For another fifty years she was permitted to exist 
on sufferance in humiliation and agony. 

Now, frightful as had been the losses of Rome in this 
seventeen-years' conflict, and great as was her exhaustion, she 
proceeded in the very year following the peace with Carthage 
to enter upon a fresh series of campaigns. The Gauls of the 
north made a desperate revolt, sacked Piacenza and invested 
Cremona, but the Romans quickly brought them to reason. 
The Gauls could not, of course, receive any of the rights of 
citizenship as yet, but they received back their independence, 
and were left free of tribute to act as a bulwark against their 
northern cousins. There was incessant fighting in Spain also. 
In Sardinia there were perpetual slave-drives, until the 
market was glutted with slaves, and the phrase was begotten 
"as cheap as a Sardinian." How could the senate at such 

* What thou owest to the stock of Nero, O Rome, let Metaurus' flood bear 
witness, and the defeated Hasdrubal, and that fair dawn that drove the dark- 
ness from Latium. . . . And at length spake treacherous Hannibal : " We are 
but deer, the prey of ravening wolves, but lo 1 we are pursuing those whom 
to escape is a rare triumph. ... No proud ambassadors now shall I send to 
Carthage : perished, perished is all our hope and all the fortune of our race, for 
Hasdrubal is dead." (Odes, IV. iv. 37-40, 49-52, 69-73). 

t Plate ji, 


a moment declare a fresh war with the greatest of European 
powers ? Was it under pressure of that greedy commercial 
party at Rome of which we are beginning to hear so much ? 
The suggestion is absurd. There were hard knocks and little 
money to be got from Macedon ; and it is difficult to conceive 
how any powerful commercial interests could have arisen at 
Rome during the seventeen years of the Hannibalic War. If 
ever there was a nation whose early history declined the 
economic interpretation it was the Romans. Even when the 
Romans had conquered Macedon they shut down the famous 
gold mines because they did not know how to manage them ! 
Nor, I think, was it any large-minded Welt-politik which led 
Rome into the Second Macedonian War. Doubtless Philip 
and the Greeks were dangerous and uncomfortable neigh- 
bours, and no doubt it was true that Philip of Macedon and 
Antiochus of Syria had formed a compact to divide up the 
realms of the boy-king of Egypt. But the war could probably 
have been postponed for years by negotiation. Philip did not 
want to fight Rome : he had not even ventured to intervene 
while she was almost prostrate before Hannibal. The fact is 
that the Romans were by habits and instinct a fighting people. 
From the earliest times they had inherited the custom of an 
annual summer campaign. Peace did not present itself to 
them, or most of their neighbours, as a desirable condition to 
be preserved as long as possible. They were soldiers and 
nought else, and what are soldiers for but for fighting? It is 
only blind optimism which can believe that nations are even 
now actuated habitually in their international relations by 
foresight and policy. "The plain truth is," said William 
James, "that people want war. They want it anyhow; for 
itself, and apart from each and every possible consequence. 
It is the final bouquet of life's fireworks." That is certainly 
true of the Romans : the Roman state, as a whole, needed its 
customary annual campaign. It was the business of her 
statesmen and diplomats to choose the enemy and prepare a 
casus belli. To imagine the states of 200 B.C. as always 


calculating their actions solely on the basis of commercial 
interest must be unhistorical. 

In their attack on Philip the Romans were allied with the 
most respectable elements in Levantine politics : Rhodes, 
the commercial republic ; Pergamum, the kingdom of the 
cultivated Attalus ; Athens, the ancient home of art and 
learning ; Egypt, the centre of commerce and literature. 
Elsewhere * I have described how the simple Romans com- 
ported themselves in this land of higher civilisation. They 
trod almost reverently into the circle of Greek culture ; they 
were flattered when the Athenians initiated them into the 
Eleusinian Mysteries, or when the Achaean League permitted 
them to take part in the Isthmian games. And when they 
had beaten Philip not without difficulty, nor without indis- 
pensable aid from the ^Etolian cavalry at Cynocephalae, 
they made no attempt at annexation. Leaving Philip crippled, 
they were content. Flamininus, their Philhellenic general, 
was proud to proclaim the liberty of Greece before he retired. 
He and many of his officers carried away with them an 
ineffaceable impression. They were returning to barbarism 
from a land rich in ancient temples of incredible splendour, 
crowded with works of art. They had seen the tragedies in 
the theatres, the runners in the games. They had heard the 
philosophers disputing in the colonnades, the orators harangu- 
ing in the market-place. A world glowing with life undreamt- 
of, where there were other things to live for than battle, had 
suddenly flashed upon their eyes. 

The next great war was against Philip's accomplice, 
Antiochus of Syria. This war was as inevitable as the 
last. Antiochus, puffed up with the pretensions of an Oriental 
King of Kings, was eager to match his strength against the 
parvenus Romans. Rome seemed, and perhaps was, reluctant 
to undertake the apparently enormous task at this moment, 
though Pergamum and Rhodes invoked her assistance. One 
strong cause for war was that Antiochus had given a home to 

* See " The Glory that was Greece," p. 261. 


Hannibal, Rome's hunted but dreaded foe. If the Great 
King had but had the sense to give Hannibal power over his 
great host it might yet have gone hard with the Romans. As 
it was, the battle of Magnesia (190) was one of those tame 
victories in which Oriental hosts are butchered by superior 
Western weapons and methods of fighting. But even with 
the wealth of Syria spread out at her feet, Rome annexed 
nothing ; not out of any spirit of self-denial, for she exacted 
an indemnity of almost four million sterling, but because she 
was not prepared to undertake the responsibility of governing 
regions so vast and so much more civilised than herself. 

Actually, of course, the effect of these wars was to give 
Rome complete command of the Mediterranean coast-lands. 
Though she did not annex, she accepted suzerainty ; that is, 
she controlled, or attempted to control, foreign policy. Rome 
is the patron ; Macedonia, Syria, Egypt, Pergamum, Rhodes, 
Bithynia, Athens, the two leagues and all the ancient states 
of Greece are her clients. The position of policeman and 
nurse of the JEgean world had been thrust upon Rome because 
she was strong and just. Even that was a terrific and bewil- 
dering responsibility. Every day fresh embassies came to 
Rome to complain of neighbours and solicit assistance clever 
Greeks who would talk your head off with sophistries, and 
rich Asiatics who would corrupt you with bribes and blandish- 
ments. There was no one within reach who would stand up 
and fight squarely. In the West there were Provinces, in 
the East allies ; it was difficult to know which gave most 

So we come to the next stage, when the Romans began to 
annex and subjugate. It was the only way. In Macedonia, 
after Philip had been conquered and pardoned, Perseus arose 
and rebelled. After Perseus had been crushed and his king- 
dom dismembered, a bastard pretender arose and headed a 
revolt, joined by the Greeks. Obviously there was nothing 
for it but to round off the business by sending a permanent 
army under a permanent general to Macedonia, and to call it 
56 ' 




his "province." Not even yet did the Romans dream of 
making cities like Athens her subjects. These free cities, 
however, needed a sharp lesson ; and Corinth, as an almost 
impregnable fortress which had been a centre of Achaean 
mischief, was selected for destruction and destroyed in 
146 B.C. 

In the same year came the end of Carthage. During the 
last fifty years there had been incessant trouble there. Rome 
had left Carthage prostrate before her dangerous African 
enemies, and refused all her appeals to be allowed to defend 
herself. All the time Carthage was undoubtedly recovering 
financially from her defeat, in spite of her large annual tribute. 
This sight moved the fears and jealousy of the Romans. It 
was not sufficient to have ordered the expulsion of Hannibal. 
The Romans who had grown up under the shadow of the 
great Punic War had sucked in hate and fear of Carthage with 
their mother's milk. Intelligent people like Scipio, who had 
seen Carthage in the dust, might mock at their fears. It was 
the Old Roman party, with their spokesman Cato and his 
stupid parrot-cry of delenda est Carthago, who constantly 
kept their nerves on edge, until at last in sheer panic they 
obeyed. The long feud between Carthage and the Berber 
chief Masinissa came to a head in 154. Masinissa appealed 
to Rome, and Rome ordered Carthage to dismiss her army 
and burn her fleet. Carthage, now desperate, refused, went 
to war with Masinissa, and was beaten. Then Rome declared 
war upon her the Third Punic War. Two consuls landed 
with a large army and Carthage offered submission. The 
consuls demanded complete disarmament. Carthage sub- 
mitted. Then the consuls demanded that the existing city 
should be destroyed and the inhabitants settled ten miles 
inland. That meant not only the destruction of their homes 
and hearths and temples, but the end of the commerce for 
which they lived. This preposterous demand shows that 
Cato's policy had triumphed. Carthage could not submit to 
this, and there followed one of those frightful sieges in which 


the Semitic peoples show their amazing tenacity. Three 
years it lasted, by favour of the gross incompetence of the 
Roman generals ; until at last a Scipio came to turn the tide 
once more. Carthage was destroyed utterly with fire and 
sword, her very site laid bare, and the soil sown with salt, in 
token that man should dwell there no more. 

The destruction of these two cities, Corinth and Carthage, 
together with other facts such as the unreasonable irritation 
which Rome displayed against her Greek allies, Rhodes and 
Pergamum, have been taken by some modern historians to 
indicate, once more, a policy of commercial jealousy insti- 
gating the destruction of rival markets. In the one case, 
however, it has been proved that Corinth was no longer a 
great centre of Greek commerce when she was destroyed, 
and in the case of Carthage it was the party of Cato, who was 
much more of a farmer than a company-promoter, that urged 
destruction. A man of business might indeed be foolish 
enough to want to close the principal markets which bought 
and sold with him there are such business men to-day but 
he would scarcely be so mad as to have a fine commercial 
centre with its docks and quays utterly destroyed and cursed 
for ever. Similarly, when Macedon was conquered her rich 
gold mines were shut down by order of the senate. The 
truth is that Rome was tired and exhausted with her colossal 
wars, irritable and nervous beyond expression with the gigantic 
task of government which she had found thrust upon her. 
Surrounded with false friends and secret enemies, she was 
losing the noble sang froid she had displayed in times of real 
crisis. Corinth was destroyed as a warning to the Greeks, 
Carthage as an expiation for the lemures of the unburied 
Roman dead. 


In considering the ancient, imperial, and provincial 
systems it is necessary for the modern to divest himself of all 
the geographical notions which spring from the study of maps. 


The ancients probably had only the most vague notions of 
territory. Natural frontiers such as mountains, rivers, and 
coasts were of course familiar to them, from the strategic point 
of view. Within those were cities great and small, which in 
the case of civilised people formed the units of life and 
government. In the case of barbarians there were tribes and 
nations, seldom sufficiently settled to produce any notion of 
geographical area. Thus when Rome conquered Sicily she 
was acquiring not so much one geographical unit, an island, 
as a collection of states of various types and constitutions. 
Similarly in the case of Spain ; she said and thought that she 
acquired Spain, although the greater part of the Iberian 
peninsula remained unconquered for another century and 
a half. To remember the limitations of ancient geographical 
knowledge is essential to the understanding of the Roman 
provincial system. Provincia means in the first instance a 
sphere of official duty ; a man's provincia might be the feeding 
of the sacred geese or it might be the control of an army. 
It was not for a long time that the word came to connote a 
territorial area. When it did so, the day of the city-state 
was at an end. 

The earliest Roman provinces were Sicily, acquired by 
conquest in the First Punic War, 241 B.C., then Corsica and 
Sardinia, annexed in the diplomatic intrigues which followed. 
Spain, or rather "the Spams," Further and Hither, were 
the fruit of the Second Punic War (201). After the Third 
Punic War (146) the territory of Carthage became a province 
under the name of Africa. At the same time the Mace- 
donian Wars gave Rome the province of Macedonia. To 
complete the list so far as the Roman Republic is concerned : 
Attalus III. bequeathed his kingdom to Rome in 133, and 
this became the province of Asia. In 121 the conquest of 
Southern Gaul gave Rome Gallia Narbonensis. In 103 the 
prevalence of piracy on the southern coasts of Asia Minor 
compelled the Romans to make Cilicia a province. In 81 a 
legislative act of Sulla brought the already conquered 



Cisalpine Gaul into the same category. The King of 
Bithynia imitated Attalus in bequeathing his kingdom to 
Rome. Cyrene also was bequeathed to Rome and united in 
one province with Crete in 63. In 64 Pompeius the Great 
deposed the King of Syria and annexed his kingdom. 
About the same time, on the death of Mithradates, Pontus 
was added to Bithynia as a united province. In 51 Julius 
Caesar completed the conquest of Gaul and added it as 
Gallia Comata to the old province of Narbonensian Gaul. 
Finally in 31 Octavianus added Egypt to the list. 

It was not the Roman way to think a situation out with 
the logic and directness of a Greek or a Frenchman. More 
like the Englishman, he took things as they came and made 
the best of them with as little derangement as possible of his 
pre-existing system and preconceived ideas. The Roman 
Empire was not governed on a system as it was not acquired 
by a policy. When Sicily came into the Roman hands, it 
came piecemeal in the course of the war. Various cities 
accepted Roman "alliance" on various terms. Rome had 
never been able to grant full citizenship to Greek states, 
because their inhabitants, speaking a foreign language, could 
not give the equivalent in military service. If Sicily had 
been Italian it would no doubt have entered the Roman 
alliance as a collection of municipia ; as it was, the sixty-five 
or so separate Sicilian states continued to enjoy for the most 
part their previous constitutions under various agreements 
with Rome. Some were "free," some were "free and con- 
federate " ; similarly of kings who yielded to Rome, some 
were styled " allies," some "allies and friends." The cities 
would have their charters and the kings would have their 
personal treaties with Rome which lapsed with their death. 
But in a region conquered in war most of the tribes or states 
were simply " stipendiary," that is, tribute-paying. The 
stipendium paid was originally, and in theory, an indemnity 
or a contribution for the maintenance of a military force by 
people who were unqualified to give personal service. It was 


generally settled by a commission of ten members of the 
senate, who went out to organise a newly acquired territory. 
Even these tributary states had their charters from Rome. 
The stipendium was by no means extortionate. In Mace- 
donia, for example, the people only paid to Rome half as 
much as they had previously paid to their kings. In Sicily 
and Sardinia the tillers of the soil paid a tithe, generally in 
kind (that is, in corn), to the Roman treasury, and the town- 
dwellers probably paid a poll-tax. It was an error of the 
jurists, who confused this tithe with the tenth paid by occu- 
pants of Roman public land, which afterwards led to the 
dangerous legal theory that Rome had acquired the whole 
soil of the country conquered by her arms and leased it back 
for a consideration to the original proprietors. As a matter 
of fact, few of the provinces were remunerative to the Roman 
state. Spain, where warfare was incessant, was certainly a 
heavy loss. Macedonia was no source of profit. Sicily, 
largely owing to the Roman Peace, became the granary of 
the capital, but Asia alone was a source of great wealth to 
the treasury. There were, of course, harbour dues for the 
provinces as for Italy herself. 

On the whole, it is fair to say that local autonomy was 
generally preserved. Either through policy or, more prob- 
ably, because the Romans habitually took things as they 
found them, the previous laws and constitutions of conquered 
units, whether cities or tribes, remained in force. In Syracuse, 
for example, the law of King Hiero remained, and it was 
much better for the Sicilians to pay their taxes to Rome than 
to be subject to the personal extortions of a monster like 
Agathocles. In law-suits between citizens of one Sicilian 
state the trial was to be held in that state by a native judge 
and according to the native laws possibly with a right of 
appeal to the Roman governor. In suits between Romans 
and Sicilians the judge was to be a native of the defendant's 
state. So far the Roman sway is the mildest, the most 
benevolent system of government which has ever been 



imposed by an empire upon conquered subjects. Athens, it 
will be remembered, had grown rich and beautiful by mis- 
applying the contributions of allies which she had converted 
into the tribute of subjects. Sparta had put garrisons into 
every conquered city. So had Carthage. No modern power 
allows as much local autonomy to conquered territories as 
Rome granted to hers. 

But in every conquered territory it was necessary to have 
an armed force, large or small according to circumstances, 
and for the soldiers a general. As all the Roman magis- 
trates were military in the first instance, but also judicial and 
executive as, in fact, the nature of Roman ideas of imperium 
implied an unlimited competence in every department of rule, 
the provincial general was also, necessarily, a provincial judge 
and administrator free from all control during his year of 
office. No doubt the Romans, if they had possessed the 
wisdom and retrospective foresight so lavishly displayed by 
their modern critics, would, in sending officers to distant 
parts, have revised their notions of imperium and defined the 
spheres of duty which they entrusted to their generals. If 
they had studied political science they might have learnt that 
it is wise to separate the legal functions from the administra- 
tive, and both from the military. Or if they had made 
historical researches, they might have discovered that the 
Persian administrative system of three independent function- 
aries in each satrapy was the best that had yet been discovered. 
But they did none of these things : they simply blundered 
on in the old Roman way, more maiorum. They did not 
foresee the demoralising effect of absolute power in an 
alien and subject land. They did not foresee the necessity 
for central control in a Roman Colonial Office ; there was 
not even any Latin equivalent for the Franco-Grecian term 
"bureaucracy." Thus they were compelled to trust to the 
honour and sense of justice which was, when this colossal 
experiment began, still believed to exist in the heart of a 
Roman officer and gentleman, unaware that corruption 


was beginning even then to taint the whole body of their 

They might, one would think, have realised the super- 
human temptations in the path of a Roman governor. He 
went out, with a company of his own friends, chiefly ambitious 
young men, for a staff, with a senatorial legate chosen by 
himself, and a juvenile quaestor as his subordinate to keep 
accounts, if he could : for there was no competitive examina- 
tion in book-keeping. The governor went for a year only 
among a people whose traditions, laws, and even language, 
were probably quite unknown to him. He left an austere 
and barbarous republic to act as monarch among flattering 
Greeks or cringing Asiatics. No power on earth could even 
criticise him while he held the imperium : afterwards he might 
be impeached, it is true, but before a court of his own friends. 
He had just completed a civic magistracy, and these were 
won and held by means of lavish bribes and public entertain- 
ments. Opportunities to recoup himself were irresistible. 

True to the mos maiorum, the Romans invented no new 
magistracy for the provinces. Already as early as the Samnite 
Wars they had found it necessary sometimes to break down 
the annual system by proroguing a magistrate's term of office 
in order that he might finish a campaign. If he were praetor 
or consul, he continued for another year as propraetor or 
proconsul. When Sicily was conquered the Romans added 
another praetor to the two functionaries already existing, 
another for Sardinia, and two more for Spain ; but after that 
the new provinces were entrusted to propraetors and pro- 
consuls, or, in case of a war, to the consuls themselves during 
the latter part of their year of office. The senate decided 
what the magisterial provinces should be, which of them 
should be consular, and then generally the qualified officers 
balloted for them. 

The same want of elasticity in the Roman system spoilt 
their good intentions in the matter of finance. As we have 
seen, the State imposed no crushing burdens upon its vassals. 

6 3 


Had the stipendium been honestly collected by official emis- 
saries under proper control, the provincials would have had 
little cause of complaint. But the Romans here again pro- 
vided no new functionaries for the new duty. In some cases 
they allowed the subject communities to collect their own 
taxes and forward the required aggregate to Rome, and in 
such cases there was a great deal of peculation on the way. 
But where this was impossible the senate farmed out the 
collection of taxes under contract to certain individuals who 
bought them at auction. The publicani quickly grew into a 
regular institution, grouping themselves into capitalist syn- 
dicates which combined tax-farming with money-lending. 
Banks were established in every provincial centre. This 
capitalist class soon established itself as a political body at 
Rome, where it exerted a powerful and sinister influence over 
public policy. Just below the senatorial order were the 
equites. Of old they had been real cavalry, for it was only 
the rich who could afford to maintain a horse and the neces- 
sary equipment ; now it was mainly a titular distinction, 
implying a certain income. It was here that the bankers of 
Rome and the financial interests were grouped in a single 
powerful class. For a time these "horsemen" actually 
secured control of the jury courts which tried charges of 
extortion. Then the lot of the provincials was wretched 
indeed: to pay their greedy and extortionate tax-gatherers 
they had often to borrow from the same individuals in their 
capacity of usurers, and then, if they ventured to journey to 
Rome with a complaint, they would meet the same evil class 
in the very judges who heard their complaints. This was 
how "publican and sinner" came to be an appropriate con- 

The corruption, as we shall see later, began to be serious 
with the acquisition of Asia. At first the incompetence due 
to the inexperience of the governors and their staffs was the 
chief failing of the system. But when Asia with its stored-up 
capital, its possibilities of exploitation, and its extreme help- 


lessness, fell to Rome, traders and money-lenders swarmed 
down upon it, so that there were 80,000 Italians there when 
Mithradates ordered his famous massacre. -Thus money 
poured into the capital, and there was an unseemly scramble 
for wealth. But for the present we are only concerned with 
the system of provincial government as it was in the beginning. 
I think we may conclude that it started with the best inten- 
tions, but with two inherent defects, both due to the con- 
servatism of the Roman character. Their constitution was 
municipal and their outlook parochial. Their empire-building 
was precisely of the narrow-minded, well-intentioned character 
that one would expect if the Marylebone Borough Council 
suddenly found itself presented with Ireland, France, and half 
Spain, and asked to govern them. 


A poor man cannot become a millionaire without at leas 
altering his way of living, and a little backward provincial 
town cannot find itself the mistress of a great empire without 
undergoing very profound modifications. In 208 B.C. Rome 
was struggling for her life with a foreign enemy raging at her 
gates. Fifty years later she was mistress in the Mediter- 
ranean, and owner of more land than she could conceive. 

One of the effects of the change was a prodigious influx 
of wealth into the city. In war indemnities alone six or seven 
millions sterling must have flowed into the coffers of a state 
which had till recently conducted its business with lumps of 
copper. In loot Rome was said to have gained above two 
millions in the Syrian War, and about the same in the Third 
Macedonian. Vast tracts of public land were gained, and 
there was a steady influx of tributary corn and money : public 
mines, such as those in Spain, must be added. There never 
had been regular direct taxation in the city : a Roman paid 
his dues in the form of personal service, and a tributum was 
the mark of defeat. But now all taxation ceased at Rome 
except an indirect tariff on salt and the customs at the ports. 

E 65 


Henceforth Rome was living on her empire and growing fat 
upon it. It is true that expenditure was also increasing. In 
the earliest days there had been no public finance. A war 
was conducted by a citizen army, who marched out for a few 
days' campaigning in the neighbourhood, wearing their own 
armour and carrying a commissariat provided by their wives. 
The only public expense was the religious duty of providing 
beasts for sacrifice, and even that was largely defrayed by 
fines paid to the treasury. But now expeditions cost money, 
armies soldiering for months in distant lands had to be fed 
and maintained, ships had to be built, equipment and machines 
provided. Nevertheless, with wise financial administration 
the treasury ought to have had a decent surplus. But wisdom 
in finance was lacking : although we are assured that book- 
keeping was one of the points in which the old Roman pater- 
familias especially took pride, yet the public treasury of 
Rome, which had the temple of Saturn for its bank, was 
managed by the quaestors, the lowest grade of Roman 
official life, consisting of young men just beginning a public 
career. That fact alone will show how far more important 
the Romans regarded .warfare than finance, and how far 
wrong are those historians who make Roman greatness de- 
pendent upon economic advantages. The maladministration 
of finance was not due to dishonesty at first: Polybius, the 
Greek historian, who was brought up in the heart of Greek 
politics under Aratus, the cunning chief of the Achaean 
League, and came to Rome in the second century as a 
hostage, was genuinely astonished at Roman honesty. Their 
financial errors were due to sheer inexperience in the hand- 
ling of large sums of money. 

Little of this vast influx of money was spent upon public 
works. To begin with, there was not the taste for fine 
architecture at Rome, nor indeed for art of any sort. The 
private houses were still mainly built of unbaked bricks or 
tiles, often with thatched or shingled roofs : the interiors of 
the bare simplicity of a country farm-house. And then 


Roman religion, which, as we have seen, was always some- 
what cold towards the high Olympian gods, offering its 
real devotion to obscurer rustic powers, made little claim for 
temples and stately shrines. Temples had been built under 
the Etruscan domination in the fifth century B.C. But there- 
after for a period of four centuries there is an almost complete 
blank in the annals of Roman archaeology. If anything was 
built between Tarquin and Sulla it was generally of wood 
and brick or rubble with no architectural pretensions. 
Augustus swept it all away with contempt. Of course it was 
the fashion for Cato and the old Roman party to say they 
preferred good old Roman temples with the painted terra- 
cotta ornaments to all the new-fashioned fripperies of Greece ; 
but that is only the spleen of the outraged Philistine. These 
centuries of growth are empty of art. 

What the nouveaux riches of the second century B.C. found 
to spend their money on it is hard to say. In 218 B.C. the 
people passed a resolution as the Lex Claudia forbidding 
senators to engage in foreign commerce. It is very unlikely 
that the senate would have allowed that if they had already 
been deeply involved in business. But this enactment 
checked the only fruitful use of wealth : it turned, and was 
possibly intended to turn, the money of the great houses into 
land speculation. This was followed by disastrous results. 
The Punic Wars had thrown millions of acres out of cultiva- 
tion. That land which had belonged to rebels passed to the 
Roman state as public land and the scramble for it was the 
cause of momentous political conflicts in the succeeding 
generation. But rich senators acquired enormous estates 
without any deep interest in their economic productiveness. 
Like the old English squire the old Roman senator was not 
a professional nor even a very serious landowner, and more- 
over he was an absentee. Thus large tracts of Central Italy 
became the estates of rich men who added park to park and 
villa to villa rather as a hobby than for any good reason. 
The common notion of Italy before the Punic Wars as a vast 


smiling cornfield, dotted with little farm-houses and country 
cottages full of stalwart husbandmen, is both unhistorical and 
ungeographical. The Italian farmer lived like the mediaeval 
European farmer mostly in townships which he called 
" cities," and it was only the plain-land in the vicinity of a 
town which was regularly ploughed and sown. A glance at 
the map will show how little of Central Italy is suited for 
cereal cultivation. But, if the records are true, 400 Italian 
townships had been destroyed in the great wars and that 
meant, perhaps, 400,000 acres out of cultivation. And what 
had become of their inhabitants ? Thousands, of course, had 
left their bones on Roman battlefields, but thousands more, 
when their term of service was done, went to swell the 
proletariat of Rome. There they herded in ill-built, ill- 
drained quarters on the low ground of the city. Physically 
and morally they declined. What is perhaps worse, they 
could not perpetuate their breed under the new conditions. 
It takes generations for the human animal to adapt itself to 
new conditions. Modern Europe has seen the enormous 
influx into towns accompanied by a decline in the birth-rates, 
and the swollen town-populations are only maintained by 
constant influx from the country. It has truly been said that 
the future rests with the race which can most readily adapt 
itself to such new conditions. But the Romans never could. 
The humbler quarters of the city, though they grew more and 
more populous, grew, it seems, by immigration and not by 
natural increase. Thus the populace of Rome became more 
and more cosmopolitan, less and less Roman. These generali- 
sations are apparently well founded, but it must not be 
forgotten that we know scarcely anything of the free poor at 
Rome. A nation of orators generally forgets to speak of the 
butcher, the baker, and his colleagues. It is as impossible 
to believe that all trade and industry at Rome was carried on 
by slaves as that the poor of a city can live by bread alone. 
"Bread and the circus" is a respectable phrase, as true as 
epigrams ever are, but it cannot be the whole truth. 


As we have seen in the case of Greece, all ancient city- 
states undertook duties which the modern individualistic 
community regards, up to the present at least, as private and 

Map of Italy, showing ground over 1000 feet high 

not public. The city-state regarded it as part of its business 
to see that its shareholders did not starve, therefore the 
supply of corn and the price of it was always a matter of 
state supervision. From the earliest days of Roman history 
there had been officers charged with the duty of securing 



the city's corn-supply at reasonable charges. Now the corn 
was beginning to arrive in the form of tribute from Sicily 
and Africa. Soon we shall have the agrarian laws and all 
the disorder that resulted from them. But it is important 
to observe that the depopulation of the Italian countryside 
resulted from war and politics as well as from economic causes. 
Of course economic causes kept it depopulated. Nature 
never intended Central Italy for a wheat-growing land ; the 
vine, the olive, and the fig are its best products. Now that 
the seas were open for free imports it no longer paid to 
plough and sow the stony upland farms. 

So the land passed out of cultivation. As in England, 
grazing was found to be cheaper, easier, and more profitable 
than agriculture. Oxen were used for ploughing or reserved 
for sacrifice. The Italians, like the Greeks, seldom ate meat 
and then little but smoked bacon, but as all Romans wore 
the woollen toga sheep-farming was profitable. In summer 
the sheep grazed on the Sabine hills, in winter on the Latin 
plain among the stubble of the cornfields or beneath the olive- 
trees. Wild slave-shepherds tended them. 
t Slavery was the canker at the root of ancient civilisation. 
It assumed more awful proportions at Rome than in Greece 
owing to the hard materialism of the Roman character. Of 
course it had existed from the earliest times as the common 
lot of the prisoner of war. The sturdy Roman farmer, so 
dear to Roman rhetoric, was after all little more than a sturdy 
slave-driver. The actual field labour had always been in the 
hands of slaves. As early as 367 B.C., if we may believe the 
records of that age, legislation had attempted to fix a certain 
proportion of free labour on country estates. From the first, 
too, the slave had been the merest chattel, a colleague of 
the dog, a little lower even than the wife or daughter of the 
Roman house-father. It was cheaper to buy slaves than to 
let them breed, cheaper to sell them for what they would 
fetch when they grew old than to keep them. You could 
dodge the gods, who enjoined holidays even for slaves, by 


giving your slaves work indoors on feast-days such are some 
of the maxims of the venerable Cato, who is the type of the old 
Roman squire, and who personally attended to the scourging 
of his slaves after dinner. Now slaves were becoming more 
numerous and cheaper than ever you might have to pay as 
much as ^1000 for a pretty boy or girl but a wild Sardinian 
or Gaul or Spaniard cost very little. Hence began the really 
pernicious system of specialised slavery. A wealthy Roman 
moved neither hand nor foot for himself. To have only ten 
slaves was contemptible poverty. Each slave was trained 
simply for one special task cook, barber, footman, bearer, 
lacquey, or schoolmaster. The shepherds and gladiators 
might retain their manhood, as indeed they did, and showed 
it in frightful revolts during this and the succeeding generation. 
But the domestic slaves of the capital had no hope but to 
cringe and wheedle their way into favour by flattering and 
corrupting their masters. One alleviation of the slave's lot 
there was : it was easier for a slave to earn his freedom at 
Rome than in Greece. But this type of person when liberated, 
and his children after him, made the worst type of citizen, and 
tended still further to corrupt the tone of the proletariat. 
Worse than domestic slavery was the plantation system, 
which during all this period was growing in the country. At 
its worst it meant huge slave barracks, in which the slaves 
lived in dungeons underground and worked by day in gangs, 
chained night and day. It was a profitable system of agri- 
culture and it rapidly ousted free labour. In the city too, in the 
merchant ships and the mines, a cruel and vicious system of 
servitude was destroying free industry. Truly the hollowest 
of historic frauds was the eighteenth-century view of an 
idealised Roman republic of citizens, free, equal, and fraternal. 
It inspired the Convention and coloured the periods of 
Mirabeau, but so far as the records prove, the virtuous and 
liberal old Roman never existed. 

Equality beyond the name was certainly unknown at 
Rome. All government was in the hands of a close circle of 

aristocrats whose stronghold was in the senate. By virtue of 
the client system the great houses of the Claudii, the Cornelii, 
the Fabii, the Livii, the Flaminii, the Julii, and a dozen others 
kept the high offices of state exclusively in their hands. By 
this time the censors drew up the senate-lists chiefly from 
the ranks of ex-magistrates, and the magistracies became a 
graduated course. It required extraordinary pushfulness or 
wealth or patronage for a new man to insinuate himself into 
, the charmed circle. The old patriciate had gone, politically 
at least, and only survived for religious purposes, but Rome 
still remained a thrall to aristocracy of a far more dangerous 
type, an aristocracy of office. One of the troubles of Rome 
lay in the fact that this aristocracy was daily becoming less 
warlike and less competent. 

A great deal of nonsense has been talked about the luxury 
of the Romans as one of the causes of their decline. Even 
Mommsen relates with shocked emotion that they imported 
anchovies from the Black Sea and wine from Greece. Two 
hot meals a day they had and " frivolous articles " including 
bronze-mounted couches. There were professional cooks, 
and actually bakers' shops began to appear about 171 B.C. 
It is true that all this luxury would pale into insignificance 
before the modern artisan's breakfast-table with bread from 
Russia, bacon from America, tea from Ceylon or coffee from 
Brazil, sugar from Jamaica, and eggs from Denmark. Cato 
would have swooned at the sight of our picture-frames coated 
with real gold, for he publicly stigmatised a senator who had 
30 worth of silver plate. The truth is that Rome having 
grown rich was just beginning to grow civilised. It is the 
everlasting misfortune of Rome that events occurred in that 

In conquering Macedon Rome had become acquainted 
with civilisation. At that date civilisation meant Hellenism 
slightly tinctured with Orientalism, a culture which, though still 
alive and still original and creative, was certainly past its 
prime. The Hellenistic period of Greek art has been unjustly 



depreciated in comparison with the more youthful and virile 
age of Pericles. But it could still boast of great scholars, 
scientists, and philosophers, both at Alexandria and Athens. 
Theocritus, Bion, and Moschus form a group of original poets 
who are really great, and an art that could produce the lovely 
Aphrodite of Melos cannot with justice be termed decadent. 
Politically, morally, and physically Greece was no doubt long 
past the vigour of her youth, but intellectually she was still 
well qualified to play the part of schoolmistress to the lusty 
young barbarian of the West. We have seen that in very 
remote times Rome had come under Etruscan influences which 
were closely akin to Greek. There had been some inter- 
change, if tradition may be trusted, of Greek and Etruscan 
art and artists. Greek painters had worked in Rome at a 
very early date. Then came perhaps two centuries of relapse 
in the cultural sense while Rome was busy with warfare and 
conquest. In 300 B.C. she was almost entirely destitute of 
accomplishments, and even, if we may except law, politics, and 
military skill, of civilisation. The war with Pyrrhus, the 
conquest of Tarentum and then of Sicily brought in Greek 
slaves, and semi-Greek South- Italian citizens who were bound 
to have some influence. Then came direct dealings with 
Greece in the three Macedonian wars, and every Roman who 
had fought with Flamininus or Paulus returned to Rome if 
not an apostle of culture at any rate a man who had seen 
civilisation with his own eyes and could no longer regard old 
Roman ways as sufficient for man's happiness. How could 
eyes that had seen the Zeus of Pheidias at Olympia glowing 
with ivory and gold be content with the old vermilion Jove of 
his native temple ? 

Nevertheless it was very slowly that culture filtered in. 
All through the third century and for the first half of the 
second Rome was still incessantly occupied with war. Her 
tastes were brutalised and demoralised by it. When drama 
painfully began, the dramatists sadly lamented that their 
audiences would desert the theatre for the sight of a rope- 



dancer or a beast-baiting or, better still, a pair of gladiators. 
From the first it was vain to attempt the creation of a national 
drama for a people whose craving was for the sight of blood. 
Gladiatoral combats are said to have been of Etruscan origin. 
They first appeared at Rome in the early part of the third 
century in connection with funeral displays. From every 
African expedition wild beasts were brought home to be 
slaughtered in the Roman amphitheatres. These bloody 
shows indicate the real tastes of the Romans from the earliest 
times. They are no spurious growth of the so-called 
"degenerate Empire." On one occasion, when the music of 
some Greek flute-players failed to please a Roman audience, 
the presiding magistrate ordered the unlucky artists to fight 
one another, and the hoots of the crowd were instantly 
transformed to rapturous applause. 

All the arts were held in contempt, all were entrusted to 
slaves or the poorest kind of citizens. Thus Hellenic civilisa- 
tion was transported to Rome under a double disadvantage. 
Not only was Greek civilisation itself already past its prime, 
but it was interpreted largely by slaves. Every Roman of 
position had Greeks among his retinue not, of course, the 
citizens of famous cities like Athens or Alexandria, which 
were still free, but low-caste, half-barbarian wretches from the 
great market at Delos or from the southern towns of Italy 
for clerks, accountants, scribes, jesters, procurers, physicians, 
pedagogues, flute-players, philosophers, cooks, concubines, 
and schoolmasters. We may be sure that it was not the most 
favourable type of Hellenism that would creep into Rome by 
such channels as these. But it was precisely in this manner 
that Roman literature began. The noble general M. Livius 
Salinator brought from Tarentum in about 275 B.C. a Greek 
slave named Andronikos, as a tutor for his sons. This 
man received his liberty, and as Livius Andronicus set up a 
school. For his school he required books, and as there was 
no other text-book in Latin but the XII Tables, he under- 
took the translation of Homer's Odyssey into the native 


Italian measure of Saturnian verse. His work was, of course, 
very indifferently performed, but it remained a primer of 
education down to the schooldays of Horace. Emboldened 
by this success he proceeded to supply the Roman stage with 
translations of Greek tragedies. 

Such was the beginning ; the sequel was not much more 
promising. Naevius was a Campanian who translated Greek 
comedies and tragedies. In the former he attempted the old 
Greek custom of political allusions, but speedily found that 
there was no such liberty of speech in Rome as had prevailed 
in the palmy days of Athenian comedy. An allusion to the 
Metellus family brought the famous and thoroughly old Roman 
poetical retort : 

dabunt malum Metelli Naevio poetae, 

and was fulfilled by the imprisonment of the dramatist. Thus 
the beginnings of literature at Rome were by no means easy. 
The dramatists were hampered by severe police restrictions 
as well as by the barbarity of their public. It is interesting 
to note that both these poets also attempted the epic style. 
Livius Andronicus was actually commissioned by the priests 
to celebrate the victory of Sena in verse, and Naevius wrote 
an account of the First Punic War. 

For comedy the Romans appear to have had some natural 
taste. It seems that a very rude and barbaric form of 
dramatic dialogue mixed with buffoonery was native to Italy in 
the Fescennine Songs, though even these are said to have been 
of Etruscan invention. So the Romans at their festivals were 
content to listen to comedies if the humour was obvious enough, 
if there was plenty of horseplay. The setting was wretched 
indeed. Instead of the magnificent marble theatres of Greece, 
wooden booths were temporarily erected in the amphitheatre, 
and a noisy disorderly audience listened with good-humoured 
contempt to the efforts of the actors who tried to amuse them. 
Sometimes the chorus would be sung by trained musicians, 
while the actors on the stage illustrated the inaudible words by 


pantomimic gestures. It was utterly crude and inartistic from 
beginning to end, and in deplorable contrast to the beginnings 
of Drama in Greece. There it had been a national service of 
worship to the gods. Here it was a trivial amusement in the 
hands of slaves and foreigners. 

Of the three great comedians, Plautus, though a genuine 
free Italian of Umbria, had been reduced by poverty to 
the position almost of a slave ; Cscilius was a prisoner 
of war from the neighbourhood of Milan, who had been 
brought to Rome as a slave and then set free ; Terence 
was a Carthaginian by birth, belonging as a slave to the 
Senator Terentius Lucanus, and subsequently being 
liberated became a friend of the younger Scipio. Ennius, 
the "father" of epic verse and tragedy, was a client of the 
elder Scipio and a Greek-speaking Calabrian by birth. 
Pacuvius, the best of the early tragedians, was a native of 
Brundisium, and therefore more Greek than Roman ; he too 
belonged to the Scipionic circle. The activity of these 
writers belongs mainly to the first half of the second century. 
Not one of them was a Roman by origin, still less was there 
anything distinctively Roman in their work. Except from 
the linguistic point of view there is little to be said about any 
of them. The comic dramatists were engaged in trans- 
lating the work of the Greek comedians of the third phase, 
especially Menander and Philemon. To meet the demand 
for more plot, more action, with less dialogue and less poetry, 
they would generally make a patchwork of two or three 
Greek plays. From the artistic point of view the work was 
clumsily done. There was little pretence of Romanising the 
characters or the scenes, generally they were frankly Greek 
with strange intrusions from Roman life. The source from 
which they drew was by now a stereotyped comedy of 
manners with stock characters the heavy father, either an 
indulgent debauchee or a stingy curmudgeon ; the old woman, 
generally a procuress ; the gay and profligate young hero ; 
the fair heroine, generally a meretrix, and a background of 


parasites, bullies, pandars, slave-dealers, and scoundrelly 
slaves, who came in for recurrent beatings to the great enter- 
tainment of the audience. The situations are also " taken 
from stock," facial resemblances, disguised strangers, mistaken 
identities, veiled women and so forth. The "love interest," 
such as it is, almost invariably centres round the desire of 
a young profligate for a courtesan. The atmosphere is 
generally brutal and immoral. There is often a ludicrous 
want of dramatic imagination in the stage management. Yet 
the comedies of Plautus and Terence have played a larger 
part in monasteries and schoolrooms than any other literature 
in the world, and through Shakespeare and Moliere have had 
a decisive influence in the history of the drama. We do not 
possess enough of the original Greek sources to say very 
definitely how much was contributed by the Roman dramatists 
of their own. Where we do get passages for comparison 
the Latin version has generally lost a great deal in wit and 
neatness of expression. The prologues, so far as they are 
genuine, are at any rate in the case of Plautus extremely bald 
and crude. " Now I will tell you why I have come forward 
here and what I intend in order that you may know the 
name of this play. For so far as the story goes it is a short 
one. Now I will tell you what I was anxious to inform you 
of: the name of this play in Greek is Onagos Demophilus 
(or Diphilus?) composed it, Maccius turned it into Latin. 
He wishes it called Asinaria, if you please." And so he 
proceeds to unwind his plot and relate how the young spend- 
thrift Argyrripus won the favours of the courtesan Philenium 
by duping her mother, the procuress, and cheating his mother, 
a shrew, out of twenty minae by the co-operation of his immoral 
old father who hoped to secure the young woman for himself. 
It would be wrong, however, to underrate the literary 
merits of Plautus and Terence. These authors reveal to us 
something of the natural speech of the Roman Plautus in 
particular, for Terence is already far more " classical " in 
his language. It is not always easy to say how far the 



amusement which we get from them is legitimate, or how far 
it is laughter at the expense of their antique artlessness and 
clumsiness. But Plautus has a rich vein of simple humour 
and an irresistible sly appeal to his audience which often 
makes one unconscious of the garbage in which he is dealing. 
Terence has a polish, a graceful way of putting the obvious, 
and a purity of diction which sometimes makes his young men 
seem almost gentlemen and his young women almost virtuous. 
There is a great deal of sound worldly morality in Terence 
and some pure sentiment. But it is necessary here to lay 
stress upon the fact that the literary arts of Rome never 
possessed the fresh innocence or even the simple coarseness 
of youth. It was little harm, perhaps, that the gladiators, the 
rope-dancers, the bear-baiters, and the charioteers won the 
day in the affections of Roman audiences. 

Father Ennius, too, in his tragedies was little more than 
a translator. He was employed consciously by the great 
Scipio to educate and broaden the Roman taste. He had 
learnt of the Greek philosophers to disbelieve in the gods, or 
rather he had learnt the deadly Euhemerist doctrine that the 
gods of Olympus are but the memories of long dead human 
heroes, or that they sit, as Epicurus also taught, 

" On the hills . . . together careless of mankind." 

"ego deum genus esse dixi et dicam semper caelitum, 
sed eos non curare opinor quid agat humanum genus, 
nam si curent, bene bonis sit, male malis, quod nunc abest." 

At the age of fifty Ennius set himself to relate the whole 
of Roman history in eighteen books of epic verse. No one 
claims for him the rank of a great poet, but he shaped for 
Vergil's hand that magnificent instrument the Latin hexa- 
meter, and many scholars believe that he vitally affected 
the literary language of Rome by preserving the terminal 
inflexions which were dropping out of current speech. All 
the fragments of Ennius that have survived, though often 
rough and ugly, yet possess a massive dignity of their own, 


and often a most solemn majesty of cadence, as in the lines 
with which I have headed this chapter. But here again we 
must notice that the rugged father of Latin poetry had 
already taken over the scepticism of the declining religion of 

For many generations now Roman religion had been 
losing its native character and becoming cosmopolitan 
and denationalised. As we have seen, its genuinely native 
elements were mainly rural and now the Roman was a 
townsman with a townsman's light scepticism and craving for 
novelty and sensation. Jupiter and Minerva and the other 
high gods had from the first been largely foreigners ; at any 
rate few discernibly Latin ideas appear in the cults or per- 
sonalities. As early as 204 B.C., that is, in the throes of the 
Great Punic War, the worship of Cybele the Great Mother 
of Phrygian ritual had been introduced along with its 
begging eunuch priests. Apollo with appropriate athletic 
games had arrived a few years earlier. New gods multiplied, 
old gods became hellenised, Roman priesthoods became more 
and more political, being simply obtained by popular election 
like any other public office, or crack dining-clubs for the 
aristocracy. As the gods multiplied faith declined. Ini86B.c. 
the Senate discovered a whole system of secret nocturnal 
orgies which under the name of Bacchic mysteries had spread 
with extraordinary rapidity throughout Italy. Ten thousand 
men were arrested and condemned, mostly to death, but the 
associations flourished unchecked. 

Morality, public and private, was equally unsound. Publicly 
we have sufficient stories of bribery by candidates for office 
not to mention the systematic corruption of the electorate 
by corn-doles and shows to prove that political unclean- 
ness was of very old standing in Rome. As for private 
virtue it may be that the world of pimps and prostitutes 
which flits across the Plautine stage is borrowed from Athens, 
but it was certainly familiar at Rome and rapidly domesticated 
itself. Slavery had always existed there, and immorality is 


inseparable from slavery. Now with a mob of retired soldiers 
gathered promiscuously and without employment in the 
capital immorality was multiplied in every class. As early 
as 234 B.C. there was public complaint of the unwillingness of 
the Roman men of good family to face the responsibilities 
of marriage. Already, as in the case of C. Calpurnius Piso, 
there were horrible domestic tragedies in great houses. 
Divorce was already common. As usual the Pharisees of 
the day strove to combat immorality with prudishness. Cato 
the Censor punished a Roman senator for kissing his wife in 
the presence of their daughter. 

Now, let it be remembered that this very age of which 
we are speaking, the age of conquest in the Punic and Greek 
wars, is the heroic age of Roman history, the age to which 
poets and historians of the empire looked back as golden. 
We do not rely upon satirists or gossip-dealers for this gloomy 
picture of Rome in her palmy days. The facts upon which 
it is based are beyond dispute. What inference are we to 
draw? Reviewing those facts and especially noticing the 
dates, we see that all the vicious features of Roman society, 
the cruelty, the idleness, the debauchery, the political cor- 
ruption, the lack of artistic taste, the immorality and crime 
in the noble houses, the injustice and oppression of the poor 
and helpless, are no products of the Empire, but deeply 
engrained in the Roman character and entwined about the 
roots of her history. In our pursuit of old Roman virtue we 
may go to the furthest bounds of historical record in vain. 
No doubt, before Rome began to be a city and long before 
she began to have a history, there were simple laborious 
rustics on the Latin plains, who possessed, for want of oppor- 
tunity, the virtuous abstinences of the poor. But it is mani- 
festly false to ascribe degeneration either to the fall of the 
Republican system of government or to the introduction of 
civilisation. If one cause more than another is to be assigned 
for the rapid growth of evil tendencies it is the exhaustion 


consequent upon incessant warfare and the brutality engen- 
dered by continual life in camp. The only thing that could 
mitigate the latter was surely education and culture. Instead, 
then, of Greek civilisation being the cause of degeneracy at 
Rome we may more truthfully assert that it came to save her 
from ruin at a time when she was threatened with internal 
decay. Had it come earlier or been accepted more willingly it 
might have done more to brighten the darker pages of Roman 
history. It was their starved souls, empty of ideals, devoid 
even of reasonable occupation for their leisure or harmless use 
for their wealth, which rendered the aristocracy of Rome so 
utterly vulgar and debased. 




urbem uenalem et mature perituram si emptorem inuenerit. 

Jugurtha in SALLUST. 

HERE is no doubt that many of the dis- 
quieting symptoms which we have just 
noted as afflicting Roman society in the 
second century B.C. might have been 
allayed, and possibly even the causes re- 
moved, by a wise and foreseeing govern- 
ment. In dealing with the allies and 
subjects who formed her vast and growing 
empire any modern politician could have 
told the senate that they had to choose one 
of two courses either centralisation or 
devolution of power, either a just and firm system of control 
or a liberal grant of autonomous rights. But the senate 
had no policy. It left things to shape themselves. Again, 
the agrarian difficulty of a deserted countryside and an idle, 
disorderly city proletariat could easily have been solved if it 
had been taken early, before the habit of city-life grew upon 
the discharged warriors. Again the senate did nothing till 
it was too late. Then, having acquired an overseas empire 
all over the Mediterranean, the senate, if it had not been 
blind, should have seen that it was necessary to maintain a 
strong navy and police the seas in the interests of commerce. 
But again the government neglected its duty. For these and 
many other sins of negligence there was a heavy reckoning 
to be paid. It required no oracle to foretell disaster. 


While the mass of the senate sat by inert and helpless, 
allowing the helm of state to sway from side to side in their 
nerveless fingers, two small parties in the state had policies 
of their own. There was Cato (it is difficult to find a party 
for him to lead), who believed that by repeating the mystic 
words mos maioritm he could put the clock back to the 
days of Cincinnatus, if not of Numa, mistaking symptoms 
for diseases and hoping, like many another revivalist, to make 
people virtuous by making them uncomfortable, a task 
doomed to failure from the start. 

Over against these were set a party who may almost be 
termed liberals, in that they were prepared to go forward 
hopefully in company with the spirit of their age. Their 
foremost representatives were the Scipios, who acted as 
patrons to many of the literary circle we have just described, 
and were themselves eager to accept the new culture. Un- 
fortunately there was very little wisdom or foresight among 
them, and, above all, there was an aristocratic pride which 
would have rendered them impossible as leaders even if they 
had had any idea of a destination. As a family the Scipios 
were by no means uniformly competent, and most of them 
subsisted on the glamour of the name, which itself had been 
very largely due to the good luck and opportunity of Scipio 
Africanus, the Elder and the Younger. 

The special feature which distinguishes the age which we 
have now to consider that is, roughly, the hundred years 
from 146 B.C. onwards is that the historian's attention now 
begins to be focussed on a series of personal biographies. ^ 
One might almost say it is already clear that some individual 
must dominate this ill-constructed imperial city, and the only 
question left is who it shall be. In the true polity of the 
city-state the influence of personality is reduced to a mini- 
mum, and various devices, such as the lot at Athens or the 
double and annual consulship at Rome, are employed to 
prevent that individual predominance which so easily turns/ 
to despotism. It is not due so much to envy as to an instinct 



of self-preservation that republics are notoriously ungrateful 
to their great men. But personal eminence, if it is dangerous 
to the liberty of a republic, is almost essential to the govern- 
ment of a great empire and the control of huge armies. The 
incompetence of the annual generals, now that warfare was 
on a large scale and conducted far from the overseeing eye of 
the administration, became more noticeable. Already in the 
Third Macedonian War it had been disgracefully apparent. 
Now the long campaigns against Viriathus in Spain and 
Jugurtha in Africa reveal pitiful ineptitude, coupled with 
shameless dishonesty, in the republican generals of the aristo- 
cracy. Roman armies are no longer invincible in the field, 
they are not even disciplined. 


But first we have to recall a futile attempt at reform of 
the economic distresses of the imperial city. It is not so 
much the actual schemes of the brothers Gracchus which 
interest us for the schemes themselves were unworkable 
and contained k as much folly as wisdom as the manner in 
which reform was proposed and defeated. The Gracchi 
themselves, though of plebeian origin, belonged by numerous 
ties to the liberal aristocracy. Their famous mother, Cornelia 
one of the many Roman women who by their influence 
help to make Roman history so different from Greek was 
the daughter of Scipio Africanus. Tiberius, the elder 
brother, was married to a Claudia ; among his friends were 
Scsevola and Crassus. Thus on all sides he belonged to the 
circle of progressive nobles. His education had been such 
as one would expect from such surroundings. As their father 
had died at an early age, it was Cornelia's task to make 
her two "jewels " worthy of her glorious name. Accordingly 
she employed the most eminent Greeks for their tutors. The 
boys were trained, no doubt, in Greek oratory to declaim in 
praise of liberty and tyrannicides, in Greek history and 
political science to divide constitutions up into monarchies, 


aristocracies, and democracies, and to believe that in the 
latter all power belongs to the people. At the same time 
their military training was not neglected ; in horsemanship 
and feats of arms they outshone all their comrades. Their 
prospects were in every way brilliant and hopeful. While 
still a youth of about sixteen, Tiberius was elected augur. 
The proud aristocrat, Apptus Claudius, as it is related by 
Plutarch, offered him the hand of his daughter, and, having 
secured it, rushed home to announce her betrothal. As soon 
as his wife heard of it she exclaimed : " Why in such a hurry 
unless you have got Tiberius Gracchus for our daughter ? " 
It is the misfortune of rhetorical history that all its good 
characters appear to be prigs and all its bad ones scoundrels ; 
but it is certain that if Tiberius had been content with the 
easy road to fame which stretched before him in youth, he 
might without trouble have had the world at his feet. He 
accompanied his brother-in-law, the younger Africanus, in 
the last expedition against Carthage. In camp he was the 
most distinguished of the young officers, and the first to scale 
the walls of the city. He served his qusestorship in Spain, 
and there showed all the diplomatic skill of the Cornelian 
family. He saved an army of 20,000 men from destruction 
at Numantia. The Spaniards loved him no less for his name 
than for his uprightness. Thus at the age of thirty-one he 
had his future assured. A brilliant orator with distinguished 
public service behind him, he was obviously destined for the 
consulship in the near future, and then for a huge province, 
for wealth, fame, and honour. 

Call him a prig and a doctrinaire, if you will, for not being 
content with that prospect. In passing through, on his way 
to Spain, he had seen the pleasant lands of Tuscany lying 
forlorn and desolate, chained gangs of foreign slaves working 
in the fields or tending the flocks of absentee Roman land- 
lords, while the sturdy peasants who should have been in 
their place were loafing in the streets of Rome. The public 
land, conquered in war, had sometimes been simply embezzled 


by Roman politicians ; sometimes granted to veteran soldiers 
only to fall into the hands of speculators. The old Licinian 
land-law, which had limited the amount of land which might 
be held in one hand, was openly flouted, and leases were 
treated as freeholds. 

Seeing these things, the young man was filled with a 
passion for reform, and deliberately devoted his life to that 
task. The modern historians who call him prig and dema- 
gogue do not deny the awful mischief which he set himself to 
repair. It is hard to know what he should have done to please 
them. The senate, by now an entrenched stronghold of pro- 
perty dishonestly acquired and privilege dishonestly main- 
tained, could obviously never be converted. Filled with 
Greek ideas, Tiberius determined to appeal to the demos. 
That of course was a mistake. There was no such thing as 
a demos at Rome, and there never had been. The relation 
between Senate and Comitia was not in the least the same as 
that between Council and Assembly in Greece. At Rome 
the Senate deliberated and the Comitia ratified ; at Athens 
the Council prepared business for the Assembly to discuss and 
decide. 1 1 is not that the letter of the constitution really matters 
when people are hungry it does not but that there was 
lacking at Rome the very elements of democracy, an articulate 
commons, an organised will of the people. Failing that, any 
attempt to pose as champion of the people must be a fraud, 
conscious or unconscious. But it is grossly unfair to Gracchus 
to suppose that it was conscious. He thought that he was 
living in a democracy, he thought that a tribune of the plebs 
might fairly claim to be champion of the people, unaware that 
the plebs was now an anachronism, and the tribunate merely 
a clumsy brake on the wheels of the state. In 133 B.C. 
Tiberius had himself elected as one of the ten tribunes, and 
immediately prepared to introduce the millennium by legis- 
lative process. 

He proposed to enforce the old Licinian laws by which 
no individual citizen could claim a large holding of public 


land. Then presently, in his childlike ignorance of the 
tenacity of property, annoyed at the resistance he encountered, 
he further proposed to make his measure retrospective, so as 
to evict thousands of noble land-grabbers. The land thus 
escheated to the state he proposed to lease on nominal terms 
as small holdings to the poorer citizens of Rome. The dis- 
tribution was to be carried out by a commission of three. 
Very unwisely, but probably because there were no men of 
standing in the senate whom he could trust, he made this 
commission a family party consisting of himself, his father-in- 
law, and his young brother. Property was immediately up in 
arms against him. The liberal senators discovered, as even 
liberals are apt to do, that one's own property has a sanctity 
far superior to other people's. Accordingly, they took the 
Roman constitutional method of putting up another tribune 
to veto the proposals of Tiberius. Thereupon Tiberius, with 
his fantastic notions of the people and the people's rights, 
declared that a tribune who opposed the people was no 
tribune, and so had Octavius deposed. The senate's answer 
was the only constitutional answer left to them, a threat of 
prosecution when the tribunate should be over. That, of 
course, made it necessary for Tiberius to perpetuate his office. 
He gathered a band of followers sworn to protect his life, 
proposed a string of attractive measures to secure popular 
support, and stood for a second term of office. The senate 
put up more tribunes to veto his election. Thus the state 
was at a deadlock ; there were no more resources for such a 
situation within constitutional limits, so the senators simply 
girt up their togas and, led by a Scipio, marched down into 
the forum to settle the question of reform in a truly Roman 
manner. Tiberius Gracchus was murdered, and his followers 
left for judicial assassination. 

Ten years later Gaius Gracchus, with a similar programme 
and the added motive of piety to his brother's memory, took 
up the campaign afresh. The senate, indeed, having slain 
the author of reform, had been forced to allow the reforms 


themselves at any rate to start. Some lands had been redis- 
tributed, and when another Scipio got a decree passed to stop 
the work of the land commission, he too was assassinated. 
It is clear that by this time the agrarian agitation had been 
largely appeased ; what follows is political merely. The 
reformers had got the constitution altered to permit the re- 
election of tribunes, and in 123 Gaius was elected to that 
office ; he was rather more practical, and therefore far more 
dangerous, than his brother, but the passion for vengeance 
against the stubborn and brutal nobility had no doubt blinded 
his judgment. Coupled with the land-agitation there was 
now a loud demand for political rights by the Italians, who 
were debarred even from the elementary rights of market and 
marriage with each other. 

The platform upon which Gaius Gracchus stood was a 
radical one. Henceforth every poor citizen was to be supplied 
with cheap corn at less than half price, about &,d. a bushel. 
The land commission was to be restored. The Assembly was 
to be reorganised upon a new basis, which would destroy the 
preponderant voting power of the nobility. New colonies 
were to be founded, including one at Carthage a most 
salutary measure. Easier terms of military service were to 
be granted, including free equipment and the right of appeal. 
By these measures, some of them wise and just, some of them 
mere vote-catching devices, Gaius won the support of the 
people. Then he turned to the second estate the capitalist 
Equites. To buy their favour he took up their demand that 
the taxes of " Asia," as the Romans called their new province 
bequeathed to them by King Attalus III., should be put up 
for auction not locally but in Rome. It seemed to the Romans 
that since the Asiatics were bound to be plundered in any case, 
as indeed the inhabitants of Asia Minor always had and 
always have been plundered, the proceeds might as well flow 
straight into the pockets of Roman capitalists. To this he 
added the proposition that the jury-lists should henceforth be 
drawn from the Equestrian order and the senators excluded. 





It was probably more iniquitous that money-lenders and 
governors should be tried by a jury of money-lenders exclu- 
sively than that they should come before a jury of governors 
past and future. Neither would seem to us or to the pro- 
vincials an ideal arrangement. 

Much of this policy, we have to admit, was pure demagogy, 
but for that the conservative nobles, who cared nothing for the 
welfare of the state, and were impervious to anything but force, 
are directly responsible. Gracchus got his measures through 
the comitia, and secured his re-election for the next year. 
Feeling that his policy had secured him a large and faithful 
party of supporters, he now prepared to introduce a measure 
which he knew to be necessary for the salvation of his country, 
but which he must equally well have known to be unpopular 
at Rome, namely, the grant of citizen rights to the Italians. 
By this we see that Gaius Gracchus, if he sometimes stooped 
to the arts of the demagogue, was also capable of real 
statesmanship. The progressive grant of burgess rights as 
soon as subject peoples were sufficiently Romanised to be fit for 
them was the old Roman policy, which had made the city great 
in the past, and kept her safe in the shock of invasion. But 
the Romans had now become jealous and exclusive. The 
proposal was detested in Rome. Each side organised its 
gangs of roughs ; there were daily riots in the streets, and at 
last the senatorial party once more charged down into the 
forum and slaughtered the second reformer as they had 
slaughtered the first. In the prosecutions that followed no 
fewer than 3000 of his partisans were executed. 

In all this it is evident that the Roman political system had < 
completely broken down. The constitution had always been 
incredibly ill-defined. There is no doubt that sovereignty 
legally belonged to the people, and that senatorial government 
was a usurpation, as the Gracchi called it. By calling the 
citizen body of Rome a mob or a rabble you do not alter the 
rights of the case. It was largely the fault of the Government 
that they had been allowed to become so selfish, so disorderly, 



and so corrupt. The extraordinary machinery of the tri- 
bunate ten magistrates, each with an absolute veto upon all 
government had made it impossible to find any constitutional 
method 'of reform. The policy of Gaius Gracchus was the only 
possible one if Rome was to be saved, and as a matter of plain 
fact it was the policy which after a century of unceasing blood- 
shed Rome eventually adopted. It was to be a disguised 
monarchy, like that of Pericles at Athens, working on the 
basis of the tribunician powers. The old ascendancy of the 
Senate could not stand a challenge ; not only did it rest upon 
no legal title, but it had lost whatever claim to respect it ever 
possessed on the score of patriotism or statesmanship. For 
the agrarian problem it had no policy but to hold fast to its ill- 
gotten lands ; to the demands of the Italian allies it had nothing 
but a miserly "no." It watched with indifference the ruin of 
Italy, the degeneracy of Rome, and the oppression of the pro- 
vincial world. The policy of the Gracchi may have included 
dreams and nightmares, but it did look forward and hold out 
hopes. The Gracchi had now definitely started a party system. 
They had laid the foundation of a democratic movement, and 
it is Rome's misfortune that this foundation was built of such 
rotten materials. The democracy had been bought by bribes, 
but it had failed to exhibit a spark of disinterested statesman- 
ship. If ever a state needed a master that state was Rome. 
Henceforth until a master came the condition of Rome and 
Italy and the provinces was simply deplorable. Nothing could 
be done in politics without a hired gang of bravos. 

The next conspicuous attempt at reform comes from a 
genuine son of the people, one of the very few peasants who 
emerge into the light of history at Rome. In the wretchedly 
mismanaged Jugurthan war Gaius Marius had shouldered his 
way to the front by sheer courage and capacity for war through 
a crowd of cowardly and incompetent aristocrats, who almost 
openly trafficked with the foreign enemy of Rome, The 


course of this business requires a brief sketch if we are to 
understand the condition of Roman government at this 

The king of the client state of Numidia dying divided his 
realm between two legitimate sons and one illegitimate, the 
latter being Jugurtha. This amiable bastard straightway 
murdered one of his brothers and attacked the other, who fled 
to the Roman province and appealed to the senate for pro- 
tection. Jugurtha, already knowing the ropes of senatorial 
policy, sent envoys with well-filled purses, and easily con- 
vinced the senate of his innocence and good intentions. The 
senate decided to send out a commission to divide the kingdom 
equitably between Jugurtha and his half-brother. The result 
of its labours was that Adherbal got the desert and the capital, 
while Jugurtha got all the fertile part of the country, and the 
commission returned home rich and happy. Jugurtha had 
now only to obtain the capital, but as Adherbal refused to 
fight and kept appealing to Rome, there was nothing for it but 
to besiege Cirta. Numerous envoys came to Jugurtha from 
the senate in the course of the siege, but he easily assured 
them of his pacific intentions. As soon as he had taken the 
city he put his rival to death with torture, and massacred the 
entire male population, including a great number of Italian 
and Roman citizens. 

The senate did not feel that this course of action was 
entirely meritorious, but it required the stimulus of a demo- 
cratic agitation and another troublesome tribune to induce 
them to declare war. The senate sent out two of its best men 
in Bestia and Scaurus ; the latter especially was generally 
reputed to be a veritable Aristides, for he had ventured to 
protest against the former iniquities. When the Roman army 
arrived, Jugurtha knew better ways than fighting. He sub- 
mitted at discretion, surrendered the Roman deserters, whom 
of course he did not want to keep, and a few elephants, which 
he soon afterwards repurchased privately. In return he was 
permitted to retain his kingdom. Once more there were 

9 1 

outcries at Rome, voiced by the same democratic tribune 
Memmius, who insisted that Jugurtha should be summoned to 
Rome to answer for his sins. Meekly but with bulging money- 
bags Jugurtha arrived. As soon as Memmius began to cross- 
examine him another tribune interposed his veto. During 
his visit Jugurtha was able to purchase a strong party in the 
senate ; he also had time to procure the assassination of an 
obnoxious fellow-countryman in the city itself. This outrage, 
combined with the ambition of the new consul, Spurius 
Albinus, led to another declaration of war, Jugurtha himself 
being allowed to go home and prepare for it. As he departed 
he uttered the famous words, " Ah, Rome ! Venal city ! She 
would sell herself if she could find a purchaser." 

When Albinus led out the second army, he found it 
utterly incapable of fighting. It was a band of cowardly 
brigands, who spent their time in plundering their own pro- 
vince ; and when the consul's brother conceived the spirited 
project of seizing the king's treasury for himself, instead of 
waiting for the more tedious and uncertain profits of bribery, he 
led the Roman army into an ambush. It surrendered readily. 
It was forced to go under the yoke, and agree to evacuate all 

This was a little too much. Another tribune in all 
this period we observe the tribunes acting as the heads of 
popular opposition quite in the Gracchan manner proposed 
a special inquiry to investigate the matter, and bring the 
offenders to justice. Three of the worst Spurius Albinus, 
Bestia, and L. Opimius, the destroyer of G. Gracchus were 
banished, but the incorruptible Scaurus escaped condemnation 
by sitting on the bench. The treaty of peace was cancelled, 
and its author following the usual Roman custom when 
armies in awkward places surrendered was given up to the 

In the third campaign the senate really tried to do its best. 
Q. Metellus, the new general, belonged to the party of liberal 
nobles who were in favour of moderate reform. He began 


well by choosing his officers for military skill somewhat of 
an innovation. Among others he chose a brave young farmer, 
G. Marius. Arrived in Africa, Metellus had first to reduce 
the Roman army to order, and then, having failed to get his 
enemy assassinated, marched out to fight him. Jugurtha was 
beaten in battle (for the Roman army could still fight under 
decent leadership), and henceforth was driven to guerilla war- 
fare, in which he displayed such remarkable skill that the war 
soon came to a standstill. 

At this point G. Marius, who had achieved popularity and 
renown through his valour, conceived the ambitious plan of 
standing for the consulship. It is hard to guess how such an 
audacious idea can have entered his head, for such an applica- 
tion from a man of no family was entirely without precedent. 
Somebody at Rome must have whispered the idea. When 
he asked his consul for permission to go to Rome for the pur- 
pose, Metellus was vastly diverted, and suggested that Marius 
had better wait until his general's little boy was grown up, in 
order that he might have a Metellus for a colleague. Probably 
Marius had little sense of humour, for he did go to Rome, 
just in time, and was elected consul. Moreover, a special 
decree entrusted him with command of the army in Africa. 

Among his officers was the young legate, L. Cornelius 
Sulla, and though Marius undoubtedly displayed vigour and 
competence, it was very largely the luck and diplomacy of 
Sulla which procured the seizure and surrender of the Numidian 
king. Marius, however, reaped the glory. Jugurtha graced 
his triumph (104 B.C.), and soon afterwards perished in a 
Roman dungeon. 

Simultaneously with the Jugurthan war the Romans were 
called upon to face a far more serious affair, one of those great 
folk-wanderings from the north which occur periodically in 
the course of Mediterranean history. The Cimbri and Teutons, 
who may have numbered ancestors of our own among them, 
came down from the shores of the Baltic, travelling with their 
households in a train of waggons which took six days in 



defiling past the onlooker. These barbarians were terrible to 
the Romans, with their strange aspect, their long iron swords 
and savage war-cries, their fair hair and giant stature. But 
of course they were savages compared to the Romans, and 
they should never have inflicted more than one defeat on 
intelligent generals of disciplined armies. As it was, they had 
to face mutinous legions and incompetent consuls. First they 
defeated Carbo and overran Gaul ; then coming south into the 
province they beat Silanus and Scaurus ; and then, united 
with the Helvetians, they inflicted a frightful disaster on 
Longinus, when a Roman legate had to surrender, and another 
Roman army was sent under the yoke. In 105 a worse thing 
happened : the great defeat of Arausio (Orange) seemed more 
fatal even than Cannae in the extent of its losses. Therewas 
a panic in Italy, which seemed helplessly exposed to the fury 
of the northmen, but fortunately the aimless barbarians 
wandered off into the west and spent their strength on the 
warlike Spanish tribes. 

As before, popular indignation at Rome, diverted from the 
real cause of the mischief, the rotten system of cliques which 
governed them, wasted its fury on individuals. Senators were 
mobbed and stoned. A proconsul was actually deposed from 
office. There was only one man deemed capable of dealing 
with the peril Marius, the man of the people, the triumphant 
conqueror of Jugurtha. So, despite laws forbidding re-election, 

4 Marius became consul for a second time and a third five times 
consul. This was symptomatic of a changed Rome. It was, 
however, necessary. Amateur generals had had a long trial. 
From 104 to 100 Marius was continuously chief magistrate of 
the state, as well as generalissimo of its armies. He did his 
work. First he had to get his army in hand, and accustom 
them to the sight of the terrible barbarians. Then he 
dealt two smashing blows at the Teutons and Cimbri near 
Aqus Sextis and on the Raudine Plain. It was the mis- 
fortune of the Roman system of imperium that no general could 

x attain to eminence in war without at the same time acquiring 


political importance. Hence Marius in 100 B.C. found himself 
absolutely first in the Roman state without education or even 
common sense in politics. He presents a pathetic figure in the 
turbulent world of Roman statecraft, a war-scarred veteran, the 
indubitable saviour of Rome, called upon to play the part of a 
statesman, and yet a mere puppet in the hands of unscrupulous 
intriguers. First he fell into the hands of two shameless 
demagogues Saturninus and Glaucia who used him to 
revive the Gracchan revolution. Marius became consul for 
the sixth time, and a new reform programme was drawn up, 
including an agrarian law to divide the land conquered from 
the Cimbri, and incidentally all the land they had conquered, 
into small holdings for the Marian veterans, Latins and 
Italians alike. Marius was to have personal charge of the 
distribution, and this task would make him master of Rome for 
many years to come. Secondly, there was to be a still further 
cheapening of corn ; and, thirdly, new colonies were to be 
founded and the Italian allies to have a share in them. Of 
course there was violent opposition. The senate tried all its 
old stratagems, tribunician veto, portents, and lastly bludgeons. 
To meet the latter, Marius whistled his veteran soldiers to his 
side, and the " Appuleian Laws " were carried, with the 
addition of a very obnoxious clause that each senator was to 
take an oath of allegiance to the new legislation within five days 
on pain of forfeiting his seat. Q. Metellus alone had the 
courage to prefer exile. 

Then, it seems, the senate found it necessary to beguile 
the great general over to the side of aristocracy. Marius was 
a child in their hands. He actually boggled at taking the oath 
to his own laws, and added the remarkable proviso, "So far as 
they are valid." Saturninus and Glaucia in their turn tried 
violence, and Marius led the forces of the senate against them. 
There was a battle in the forum, the demagogues were slain, 
and four magistrates of the Roman people put to death with- 
out trial. Once more reaction had triumphed. For the time 
being Marius was politically defunct. 



But one side of his work was lasting- and fraught with 
momentous consequences for the Roman state. It was Marius, 

4 the first professional general, who formed the first professional 
army. We noticed that Greece, even before the end of the fifth 
century, had already begun to use paid and trained soldiers, 
partly owing to the unwillingness of her comfortable or busy 
citizens to engage in annual campaigns, but still more because 
it was found that the more highly trained and better disciplined 
mercenaries were far more efficient at their business. So for 
many centuries Rome had now been the only power in the 
Mediterranean world to rely upon a citizen militia. That 
citizen militia had indeed conquered the world ; but certainly 
in dealing with the trained troops of Pyrrhus and Hannibal, 
the Roman forces had always begun with disaster and slowly 
been schooled to their trade by defeat. So it was now in the 
Jugurthan and Cimbric wars: the generals had to train their 
armies in the face of the enemy, and while that is no doubt 
the best training ground it is terribly dangerous and expensive. 
It implies, too, an almost inexhaustible stock of recruits to 

. fall back upon. With the decline of Italian agriculture and 
the growth of city life the stock of recruits was no longer 
inexhaustible. Moreover the art of war was becoming more 
intricate. Rome found it necessary to appoint a genuine 
soldier for her general against Jugurtha in view of the 
disastrous failures of aristocratic amateurs. In the same way 
Marius found it necessary to overhaul the Roman fighting 
machine, and by the end of his five years of successive 
consulship he had organised a professional army on much the 
same system as our own. Rome like England required a 
highly trained expeditionary force and behind it a large 
reserve. The principal change instituted by Marius seemed 
at first a small one and required no legislative sanction. 
Hitherto the army had consisted only of the propertied classes, 
the infantry of those who could afford a suit of arms, and the 
cavalry of the richest citizens who could maintain one of the 
state horses. The minimum property for a Roman soldier 


is said to have been 115. The poorest had originally formed 
a light-armed support, the three middle classes were the line, 
and the richest the cavalry. But the three classes of the 
line had by now come to be drawn up not according to 
property but according to length of service. This was the 
traditional battle formation of the Roman infantry maniples : 

Triarii | | | | I I I I I I 

. . i . . i i i i > i '" 


with the cavalry upon the wings. But social changes were 
changing the army. As wealth increased and the gulf 
between rich and poor grew wider the comfortable burgesses 
were no longer obedient or willing soldiers. Bad discipline 
a monstrous violation of the old Roman spirit had begun 
to appear in the ranks as early as the Macedonian wars. In 
the Jugurthan wars it was deplorably rife. The equestrian 
class as the richest was also the most mutinous : as early as 
the third century the knights had refused to work in the 
trenches alongside of the legionaries. By 140 B.C. they had N 
ceased to act as a military force and become merely a grade 
of honour, or rather of income, in the state, though the younger 
knights continued to form a corps of noble guards to the 
general. As for the army as a whole, the theory down to the x"" 
time of Marius was still that of the annual spring campaign ; 
each consul levied his own army for a specific purpose. 
This levy had become more and more difficult. The simple 
innovation which Marius introduced was that in the process 
of holding his levy he began by asking for volunteers and 
enrolling those first. There was generally a distinct promise 
of rewards on discharge. Thus instead of the moneyed 
classes Marius filled his ranks with the poorest and hardiest 
inhabitants of Rome and Italy. Of course the obligation to 
serve still remained part of the condition of certain subject 

G 97 


peoples. The auxiliary ranks were now supplied by foreign 
experts cavalry from the Numidian deserts or the Ligurian 
hills, slingers from the Balearic Islands, and presently archers 
from Crete. Having thus professionalised his army Marius 
proceeded to abolish all distinctions in the ranks. All the 
men of the line now had a uniform equipment supplied by 
the state, and instead of a bewildering variety of insignia 
all the legionaries now fought under that emblem destined 
to be carried in victory to the four corners of Europe the 
silver eagle. The eagle was the standard of the legion and 
it was regarded as sacred. In camp it rested in a special 
shrine and terrible was the disgrace attaching to its loss in 
battle. Hitherto legions had been gathered for each campaign 
and disbanded at its close. Now a legion had a permanent 
existence, a fixed number, a tradition and an esprit de corps 
of its own. It was now a larger unit of 6000 men ; for while 
the maniple or company of 120 men still remained, the 
maniples were grouped into cohorts or battalions, which now 
became the regular tactical unit, and ten cohorts formed the 

Beside the body-armour consisting of helmet, cuirass, and 
cylindrical shield,* the uniform equipment of the legionary 
included the pilum, a short heavy javelin for throwing (it 
is interesting to notice that whereas Marius had the point 
loosely attached to the shaft so as to break off in the shield 
or body of the enemy, Julius Csesar actually invented what 
may fairly be called a " Dum-Dum pilum " with a soft nose 
for stopping the rush of barbarians), and the short broad- 
bladed sword f which had been copied from the Spanish 
swordsmen in the Second Punic War. The latter was a very 
handy little weapon only about thirty inches long including 
the hilt, with two edges as well as a point, though the thrust 
was always advocated in preference to the cut. Marius now 
introduced a new drill which included lessons in fencing given 
in the first instance by masters from the gladiatorial schools. 
* Plate 12, I Plate 13, 

7 O 



Though bloodshed be abhorrent to the learned, many a scholar 
would like to have witnessed the combat between the Roman 
gladius and the Cimbrian claymore. It must be repeated 
that the Roman maniple, unlike the close Greek phalanx, 
stood in open order with a six-foot square of space for each 
man so that there was room for individual prowess in swords- 
manship. Lastly, Marius still further professionalised his 
army by introducing a system of bounties on discharge which 
made the army a really attractive career for poor citizens. 
He promised them each a farm at the end of the war and 
his example was followed by other generals. In fact a 
veteran soldier came to expect a handsome pension on 

It is surely unnecessary to emphasise the meaning of all 
this. An army was now a trained corps against which no 
levy of recruits could stand for an instant. Hitherto it had 
been the chief guarantee against usurpation by a general that 
new armies could be summoned from the soil at any time. 
Now there was a weapon in the hands of a successful general 
against which the feeble safeguards of the republican consti- 
tution were powerless. As with the first trained army in 
English history, the general of such a force became master 
of the destinies of the state so long as the allegiance of the 
soldiers was personal rather than patriotic. The Roman 
soldier's allegiance had always been personal and now it 
became more so. Moreover the Roman constitution had 
never sought to distinguish military from civil power. Hence 
that day in 100 B.C., when the Appuleian code was carried 
under threat of the legions of Marius, was of evil omen for 
the constitution. Less than twenty years were to elapse 
before a Roman army entered Rome in triumph to support 
the political enactments of Sulla. It is in reality hence- 
forward one long state of civil war, open or concealed, between 
rival generals, until at last a permanent military monarchy was 
established. It only required a bold free spirit like that of 
Julius Caesar to discern the real facts of the case. Marius, 



as we have already seen, had not sufficient intellect to play 
a political part with success ; Sulla attained what was 
really a monarchical position but retired when he had won 
it. Pompeius never had the courage to face the situation. 
Caesar had, but he was sacrificed to the republican tradition. 
Finally the diplomatic Augustus realised the long inevitable 

Henceforth, then, it is merely a question of who shall be 
Emperor of Rome. The causes of the end of Rome's in- 
coherent constitutional system, called by us a Republic, are 
already clear. There are the constitutional causes above all 
the inelasticity of the Roman system, which made legitimate 
reform impossible, provided no machinery to express the will 
of the people, and rendered it inevitable that rioting should 
accompany every change. It was a constitution essentially 
municipal and the tribunate was the centre of mischief. Then 
there are the economic causes, now working more banefully 
than ever, and causing the decay of the agricultural population, 
the rise of a dangerous uneducated city proletariat, and the 
corruption of the governing aristocracy. There was the poli- 
tical fact that the government of a vast ill-organised empire 
destroyed the Republican spirit and further increased corrup- 
tion, while it denationalised the Roman temper. Lastly, there 
is the military cause, namely, the professionalisation of the 
army, putting excessive power into the hands of the general 
and replacing patriotism by esprit de corps. 

It strikes the onlooker that no one of these evils, nor even 
the accumulation of them, need have been fatal to the republi- 
can system if there had been a genuine spirit of patriotic 
enthusiasm determined to overcome them. For instance, if 
the great men of Rome had been loyal and patriotic there is 
no reason why the excessive power of the generals should have 
led to high treason. And again, though the provincial system 
was misbegotten it might have been corrected and reformed. 
But it was the spirit that failed. Was not that just because 
' Roman power had outstripped Roman civilisation ? For the 


upper-class Roman, faith was dead or dying, and there were no 
high interests of the mind to replace it. Fighting was their 
sole inherited interest and their tastes were correspondingly 
brutal and bloody. The last agony of the Republic in the 
period we are now considering is painful enough, but the wise 
will surely regard it as the period in which a new and much 
more hopeful order of things was gradually evolved. 


On the extinction of Marius there arose Sulla. Sulla was 
the aristocrat of talent, almost of genius, who tried to save the 
state by reaction. He tried, vainly and foolishly enough, to 
bolster up the rickety structure of senatorial ascendancy, but 
had not the patience or the wisdom to attempt even that with 
any thoroughness. L. Cornelius Sulla was of the class of men 
to which Alcibiades and Alexander belong, but an inferior 
specimen of the class. Though of noble birth he had risen 
from poverty and obscurity by his own talents. He was clever 
and he did the most foolish acts in history. He was hand- 
some and his face in later life is described as "a mulberry 
speckled with meal." He was brave and successful in war ; 
half lion and half fox, they said, and the fox was the more 
dangerous of the two. He secured the affections of his soldiers 
by giving them free licence to plunder or to murder unpopular 
officers. He was a rake and a gambler, reckless of bloodshed 
as he was careless of praise or blame, and he had that fatal 
belief in a star which has led better men than him to follow 
will-o'-the-wisps. He might have stood where Caesar stands. 
He would have made a very typical bad emperor, and whatever 
it was that made him decline to be one, it was not patriotism. 
He was as cultured as Nero, and showed it by sacking Athens, 
plundering Delphi, and looting a famous library. Like Nero, 
but unlike the majority of his fellow-countrymen, he had a 
sense of humour. 

After the shelving of Marius and the destruction of his 
democratic associates the governing clique pursued its old 



course of headlong folly. For one thing the aristocrats soon 
fell out with the capitalists, which is always an unwise thing 
for aristocrats to do. The equestrian jury-courts established 
by Gracchus acted with brutal simplicity on behalf of their tax- 
gathering and tax-farming brothers against whatever honest 
governors proceeded from the senate. Men were condemned 
for honest administration in those days. For another thing 
the bitter cry of the Italian " allies," who bore all the hard 
knocks of the Roman service, and in return got nothing but 
servitude, was persistently and contemptuously ignored. In 
95 a consular law flatly prohibited them from ever claiming 
the franchise. But presently there came forward a new re- 
former in M. Livius Drusus. This remarkable man might be 
described as a third Gracchus, only that he saw the futility of 
the so-called democracy of Rome, and adopted other means to 
attain his ends. On the one hand he was a champion of the 
senate against the knights, and on the other hand he was 
resolved to give the Italians their rights. He seems to have 
promoted a widespread secret organisation among the Italians. 
He then proposed four measures : the inevitable vote-catching 
corn law and agrarian law, the jury-courts to be restored to 
the senate, the senate for that purpose to be enlarged by the 
inclusion of three hundred knights, and, lastly, citizenship for the 
allies. The first three were carried, not without violence, but the 
fourth was his stumbling-block. The Italians were by now so 
clamorous that civil war was inevitable if it were refused, and 
no man denied the justice of their claim. But neither justice 
nor expediency had any power to move the dead weight of 
senatorial conservatism. Drusus was murdered and his laws 
repealed. That was the signal for the long and terrible Social 
War which completed the ruin of Italy and caused grave alarm 
for the very existence of Rome herself. In the course of this 
struggle and in fear for her existence Rome yielded in fact, if 
not openly, to the demand of the Italians. Some states re- 
ceived the franchise as a reward for fidelity and others as a 
bait for submission. By a law of 89 all Italians who applied 


to the praetor within sixty days received the citizenship, and 
this belated concession had its effect. The face of Italy 
had been covered with mourning to secure it. Even so the 
governing clique succeeded in nullifying the political value of 
the concession by confining the Italians along with the Roman 
freedmen to a few of the tribes so that their votes were almost 

The pressure of this war and of the great Mithradatic war 
which began simultaneously in Asia led to a serious economic 
crisis at Rome. Debt and usury were the symptoms, and 
when a praetor tried to meet it by reviving the old laws against 
usury he was murdered in his priestly robes at sacrifice. Now 
we begin to hear the ominous cry of "Novae tabulae" the 
clean slate for debtors. A popular orator named Sulpicius 
Rufus, whose programme included the exclusion of all bank- 
rupts from the senate, protected his valuable person with a 
bodyguard of 3000 hired roughs, and organised a mock senate 
of 300 high-spirited young bloods. Then, since Sulla with 
his army threatened opposition, he passed a decree giving 
the command of the great army destined to fight Mithra- 
dates to the old Marius. During the Social War both these 
generals had held command with some success, but on the 
whole the reputation of Marius had declined while that of 
Sulla had increased. Without hesitation Sulla now marched 
his army into Rome, and won a battle in the streets of the 
city. Sulpicius was of course executed, his head was nailed 
to the rostra, and Marius escaped under circumstances of 
romantic adventure. Sulla was thus in the year 88 completely 
master of Rome. 

At this moment his real ambition was for more fighting. 
Mithradates, King of Pontus,* was then in full career of rebel- 
lion against the Roman dominion in Asia, where 80,000 
Roman traders and money-lenders were murdered in a sudden 
mutiny. Sulla saw in Mithradates a worthy foeman, and much 
preferred glory on the fields of Asia to Roman politics; and 

* Plate 3,3, No. i. 



besides, his army was clamouring for plunder. So he hastily 
flung out a series of constitutional reforms designed to re- 
store the senate to more than its ancient predominance, and 
then set out for the East, heedless or ignorant of the fact that 
he had not really changed anything. On the contrary he had 
left at Rome in sole charge the new consul, Cinna, the worst 
and most dangerous of all the demagogues. Sulla most 
innocent of reprobates seems to have fancied that an oath 
to obey his constitution would restrain such a man at such 
a time. 

Consequently as soon as his back was turned a fresh revo- 
lution broke out. Cinna also brought an army to Rome and 
invited Marius to return. Then the old general, furious with 
all his disappointments, began a fearful debauch of bloodshed. 
Every distinguished senator left in Rome, including statesmen 
like L. Caesar, soldiers like Catulus, orators like Antonius and 
Crassus, were butchered by his slaves and their heads displayed 
in the forum. In 86 Marius gained the goal of his ambition, 
that seventh consulship which had been promised him long 
ago by a prophet. In the same year he died. Now for four 
years Cinna ruled as monarch at Rome. Year after year he 
assumed the consulship and nominated the other magistrates 
at his own choice without the formality of election. He re- 
pealed the laws of Sulla, equalised all the citizens in the tribes, 
and reduced all debts by 75 per cent. It is the last measure 
which is truly typical of Roman democracy. Meanwhile, of 
course, the reckoning was in preparation across the seas. 
Sulla was winning glorious victories in Greece and Asia, and 
at length in 84, drove Mithradates to surrender temporarily, 
Cinna, who does not seem to have understood that a Roman 
army belonged not to the republic but to its general, audaciously 
set out to supersede Sulla, and was murdered by the troops. 

Sulla, having offered terms which the government very 
foolishly declined, came home in 83 after five years' absence 
bearing not peace but a sword. He had five veteran legions 
of his own, the exiled aristocrats joined him, and among them 




a young man called Pompeius with three more legions. The 
lead of the democratic party had now fallen into the hands of 
a young Marius, and he having no troops to oppose the return- 
ing veterans decided to join the Samnite rebels who remained 
unconquered from the Social War. Before leaving the city 
they ordered a final and still more bloody massacre of the 
surviving aristocrats; practically all the men of distinction 
left in the city suffered death. Sulla had to fight 40,000 
Samnites at the Colline Gate of Rome, and after a desperate 
struggle was victorious. The young Marius committed suicide. 
Thus Sulla was once more master of Rome. His 8000 Samnite 
prisoners were slaughtered in the Circus. Of the Roman 
democrats, 80 senators, 3600 equites, and over 2000 private 
citizens were proscribed, and their heads nailed up in the 
forum. In Spain, Sertorius, an honest and valorous democrat, 
maintained a gallant struggle by the aid of a miraculous deer, 
and a native Spanish army trained on the Roman model, until 
at last he fell by treachery. 

For two years Sulla was monarch at Rome. For the 
purpose he invented a sort of revival of the obsolete dictator- 
ship, without limit of time and without a colleague. If we 
care for the term, Sulla was at that time as much " Emperor " 
as Augustus. He enacted a whole constitution of his own 
which it is scarcely necessary to recount since scarcely any thing 
of it survived all destined to put the senate on its throne 
again, and then simply abdicated and retired into private life. 
I think he was bored with Rome and politics. It is generally 
admitted that he had a sense of humour. It was a very 
foolish thing to do. But Sulla's star was with him and he 
died in his bed. His dying moments were comforted by the 
apparition of his deceased wife (he had had five) and son, who 
invited him to join them in the land of peace and bliss beyond 
the grave. 

Sulla was hardly dead before another consul had marched 
against Rome with his army and suffered defeat in the city. 
But these were mere episodes. The streets of the sacred city 



were in a perpetual state of war : every serious politician had 
to organise his gang of roughs, and when the very senate- 
house was burnt down in one such encounter it only seemed an 
excessive display of political zeal. Of constitutional govern- 
ment there was little pretence. The seas were swarming with 
pirates, no longer isolated rovers who preyed upon commerce, 
but an organised pirate-state with head-quarters in Cilicia, and 
a great fleet consisting of all the broken men and desperate 
outlaws of the unhappy Mediterranean world. They sailed the 
high seas in fleets under admirals who voyaged in state like 
princes. For their homes they had impregnable citadels 
among the creeks of the Cilician and Dalmatian coasts where 
they stored their families and their plunder. They were not 
afraid to march inland to sack a city or loot a rich temple. 
Commerce at sea was ruined, even the food-supply of the 
capital was occasionally cut off. On land and even in Italy 
things were not much better. All through Republican history 
(but seldom afterwards) we hear of risings among the slaves 
of Italy. Now, under the plantation system, the inaccessible 
Apennine highlands were swarming with desperate runaways 
who constantly committed minor acts of brigandage. In 73 
they found a leader in Spartacus, the gladiator who was 
said to be of royal descent in Thrace. Starting as a mere 
handful the band swelled in the course of a few months to 
40,000. Roman armies one after another and ten in all 
marched against them in vain. Two consuls were defeated, 
many eagles were captured, Italy was at their mercy. 
Respectable towns like Thurii and Nola were seized, their 
prisoners were crucified like slaves or forced with grim irony 
to fight one another to the death like gladiators. Thus the 
most frightful form of civil war was devastating Italy. It 
was necessary to raise an army of eight legions to crush the 
slaves, and the command was entrusted to Marcus Crassus, 
who even then had to decimate a legion before he could get 
his cowardly troops to stand and fight. After several stubborn 
battles, and aided by the want of discipline which was even 
1 06 


more conspicuous among the slaves than among the Romans, 
Crassus accomplished his task. Six thousand crucified slaves 
who lined the road from Capua to Rome testified to the 
restoration of order. 

Abroad matters were little better. The war against 
Mithradates, which had provided so many Roman triumphs 
and had so often been proclaimed at an end, actually lasted 
for twenty-five years, and its duration was due rather to the 
ineptitude of the government than to the prowess of the 
unmilitary Asiatics. In Spain it took ten years to defeat 
Sertorius with his native troops, and even then the result was 
only accomplished by assassination. If a Hannibal had 
entered Italy in these latter days the state could not have 
survived. But there was only one military power of any con- 
sequence left in the world in those days, the Parthians. Here 
there were half-hellenised despots ruling over tribes of warriors 
only lately descended from the Caucasian and Armenian 
highlands, and still nursing a fierce mountain spirit though they 
occupied the rich plains of Mesopotamia. Crassus, the victor 
over the slaves, was sent to fight them with a great army, but 
the millionaire displayed wretched ignorance of strategy and 
especially of the perils of Eastern warfare. He blundered on 
into the wilderness and tried to meet the terrible horse-bowmen 
and mail-clad lancers of the East with his legions in a hollow 
square. The result was the great disaster of Carrhae in 53, a 
defeat which amid all the shameful ignominies of this period 
rankled continually owing to the loss of the eagles and the 
tragic fate of the leader. Marcus Crassus himself was an almost 
wholly repulsive character, who had amassed a fortune, colossal 
even in those days of millionaires, by the most discreditable 
method. The foundations of his millions had been laid by 
speculating in the property of the victims of Sulla's proscrip- 
tions. He had been a slave-trainer on a large scale and at one 
time he had organised a private fire-brigade which he used for 
acquiring house-property cheaply by blackmail. By lending 
money to the young spendthrifts of the aristocracy he obtained 



great influence at Rome, and indeed figures in the wretched 
politics of his day as a statesman on equality with really great 
men like Caesar and Pompeius. But he had no policy and 
was only of importance through his wealth and influence. 


So we come to the final phase of the Republic the great 
struggle between the giants Caesar and Pompeius, with figures 
like Cicero, Cato, and Clodius in the background. I do not 
propose to linger over this period, because on the one hand it 
is so thoroughly well known as the period of fullest evidence in 
all Roman history, and therefore would require a volume for 
adequate treatment, and on the other hand because it has been 
such a battle-ground for partisan historians of all times that it 
is difficult in such a summary as this to do justice without 
detailed argument. 

Gneius Pompeius the Great * had first come into prominence 
as a supporter of Sulla. He was of high official family and was 
a born soldier. That is really the secret of his career. Like 
Marius he was a general and no statesman, but he was a very 
great general, and one of the few honest men, one might almost 
say one of the few gentlemen, of his period. The tragedy of his 
life was to be born in such a period. He had disdained the 
minor offices of state, and relying on his military renown but in 
defiance of the law, he stood for the consulship in 70 B.C. As 
the official aristocracy objected he went over to the democrats, 
and allied himself with Crassus. These two, elected under 
threat of Pompeius's army, straightway repealed most of the 
Sullan constitution, and restored the balance of power to the 
knights and the assembly. At the end of the year Pompeius 
retired into private life. This was characteristic of him; he 
was capable of grandiose schemes but he lived in fear of 
public opinion, and he was really moved when orators spoke of 
illegality. Meanwhile there was a loud demand for some 
comprehensive scheme of attack upon the pirates. No ordinary 

* Plate 14. 
1 08 



consular command would do. Even the Roman senate was by 
this time convinced that it was useless to send legions and 
cavalry against pirate ships. Accordingly a Gabinian Law of 
67 gave to Pompeius a command of unprecedented magnitude. 
Millions of money were voted to him, he was to be supreme 
over all the seas and all the coasts for fifty miles inland for three 
years, with a staff of twenty-five legates, and all governors were 
to obey his orders. The price of corn fell at once : Pompeius 
discovered abundance of it in the granaries of the Sicilian corn 
trust. Then he began a systematic drive of the seas, and in 
about three months had cleared them. Thousands of pirates 
were caught and crucified. All this made Pompeius the most 
powerful and the most dangerous man in Rome. 

Next the tribune Manilius, in whose favour that rising 
novus homo the friend of our youth, Marcus Tullius Cicero, 
pronounced an oration, gave to Pompeius another huge com- 
mission against Mithradates, the irrepressible rebel of Asia. 
Pompeius succeeded where all his predecessors, from Sulla to 
Lucullus, had failed, and the wicked old king was driven to 
suicide. Then Pompeius proceeded to organise the East like 
an Alexander, but always in perfect loyalty to Rome. 

While Pompeius was absent the so-called democracy, which 
mostly consisted of hired ruffians in the pay of discontented 
nobles, ruled the streets of the city. Among the young nobles 
who took this side was one more dissolute and more foppish 
than the rest, a notorious adulterer and spendthrift, Gaius 
Julius Caesar. Though of the highest birth the goddess Venus 
by her marriage with the father of ^Eneas was among his 
ancestors he was also by lineage associated with the demo- 
cracy. His aunt was the wife of Marius, and his wife was a 
daughter of Cinna. He began his public career quaintly 
enough as pontifex maximus. When Julia the widow of 
Marius died, young Caesar had the audacity to display images 
and utter an oration in praise of Marius. This, as was intended, 
set all the gossips talking, and his amazing extravagance kept 
him well in the public eye. On one occasion he exhibited three 



hundred gladiators in silver armour, although he was known to 
be penniless. Probably Crassus was his financier all along. 

At this time there was another of the frequently recurring 
financial crises at Rome. Everybody was deeply in debt, and 
loud rose the cry for the clean slate, as part of the democratic 
programme the only intelligible part. This was the cause of 
the famous conspiracy of Catiline, who, if Cicero may be trusted, 
proposed to seize and burn Rome by the aid of the discontented 
Sullan colonists in Etruria. Both Caesar and Crassus are said 
to have favoured the plot, but it is exceedingly difficult to see 
what a large owner of Roman house property had to gain by it. 
Cicero was the consul for the year 63, and though it is the 
fashion just now to sneer at Cicero, he seems to have displayed 
courage and promptitude in dealing with the conspirators. Un- 
fortunately his arrest and execution of Catiline was technically 
illegal. Cicero himself, as a parvenu, was naturally an aristo- 
crat, and his policy, though futile, was intelligible. Briefly, it 
was to unite the senate with the capitalist class in what he 
called the "union of the orders" against the democratic 
elements of disorder. Pompeius came home from the East to 
find the conspiracy crushed. He and his legions were not 
wanted. With incredible folly and ingratitude the senate, led 
by Cicero, refused even to grant the lands he had promised to 
his veterans. 

Caesar had gone as praetor to Spain, and there began to 
win military renown much to the surprise of his friends and 
money. He wanted the consulship for the next year, and there- 
fore required the support of Pompeius, who had now been driven 
away from the aristocratic party to which he belonged by 
sympathy. Crassus came in as Caesar's creditor and as the 
necessary millionaire. Thus was formed the Triumvirate of the 
year 60, and in 59 Caesar became consul. By this time he had 
conceived high, possibly the highest, ambitions. Marius and 
Sulla, not to mention Alexander and ./Eneas, had always been 
much in his mind. For the present his object was to acquire 
a lasting office and secure the allegiance of a trained army, 


Caesar's colleague in the consulship was a certain Bibulus, who 
tried to stop the dangerous proceedings of the democrat by 
seeing omens in the heavens every day, but no one, least of all 
Caesar, took any notice of him. The only serious opposition 
came from Cato the Younger, who represented the genuine and 
respectable aristocracy. This Cato was a queer anachronism at 
Rome, an honest man. He was also, if biography may be 
trusted, a bigot and a priggish eccentric. He was the sort of 
man to go about Africa without a hat, or to sit on the judicial 
bench without shoes, because such was the mos maiorum. He 
tried to revive the ways which had been styled old-fashioned 
in his grandfather. Nevertheless he was upright and brave, a 
good soldier, and a man with a clear though impossible policy. 
Once again it is the fault of rhetorical history that all the good 
men of Rome appear as prigs and eccentrics. This man most 
courageously opposed his veto to the proceedings of Caesar, 
though he was hustled and beaten by the democratic hirelings, 
then organised under that most notorious scoundrel Clodius. 
But the result was that though Caesar's laws might pass, they 
could afterwards be declared illegal, and Caesar would be liable 
to prosecution as soon as he became a private citizen. How 
ever, he had no immediate intention of becoming a private 
citizen. He secured the province of Gaul for five years with 
four legions. 

Now Gaul was not reckoned an important province. It 
was only the peaceful plain of Upper Italy to which the senate 
had added Narbonensian Gaul, a southern strip of France, 
chiefly considered as a step on the road to Spain. Four 
legions was a small consular army for those days; no one 
supposed that he would have much fighting. But either Caesar 
had received secret intelligence or else he had very good luck. 
At the outset he was called to deal with a great immigration 
of the barbarian Helvetii, who were migrating out of Switzer- 
land into Gaul and threatening the province. 

The conservatives at Rome maintained that Caesar's con- 
quests in Gaul were the result of wanton aggression cheap 



victories over inoffensive savages, wholly unjustifiable and 
unauthorised. At this point it is scarcely possible to avoid 
entering upon the much-debated question of Caesar's real 
character. For orthodox Romans Caesar was the founder of 
the empire, a person not only of divine descent, but himself 
divine. All emperors took his name, until that surname of 
Caesar, once a mere nickname, came, in half the languages of 
Europe, to be synonymous with " Emperor." For the Middle 
Ages he stood with Constantine, who christianised the Empire, 
and Charlemagne, who revived it, as the founder of that 
divinely instituted polity which shared with the Church God's 
viceregency on earth. In the eyes of Dante, Caesar stood very 
near to Christ, for the poet peoples the frozen heart of his 
Inferno with three tormented figures who writhe in the very 
jaws of Cocytus. Along with Judas Iscariot are the two mur- 
derers of Julius Caesar. Though the Renaissance stripped him 
of much of his legendary greatness, Caesar remained for the 
men of Shakespeare's day the embodiment of imperial pride. 
Shakespeare himself was too great an artist to make any of 
his characters more or less than human, but it is evidently 
Brutus who has the sympathies of the dramatist. In the 
French Revolution, again, Brutus and Cassius were heroes 
and glorious tyrannicides. The reaction against early nine- 
teenth-century liberalism brought Caesar once more into honour, 
and Mommsen, the prophet of Caesarism, makes him the hero 
of his great history. To Mommsen Caesar was almost divine, 
the clear-sighted and magnanimous " saviour " who alone saw 
the true path out of the disorders of his city. From this view 
again we are apparently now in reaction once more. To the 
latest critics the greatness of Caesar and of Mommsen are alike 
abhorrent, and Signer Ferrero depicts his greatest fellow- 
countryman as an unscrupulous demagogue who blundered 
into renown through treachery and bloodshed. 

The historical principle by which this result is attained is 
rather typical of certain modern critical methods. Since the 
account of the Gallic Wars was written chiefly by Caesar 


himself, and Caesar is by hypothesis -a scoundrel, the history 
of these wars must be found by reading between the lines of 
Caesar's account, putting the most unfavourable construction 
upon everything and preferring any evidence to his, even if it 
be that of two centuries later. If any gaps or inconsistencies 
are noticed they must be treated as concealing defeats or acts 
of treachery. Written in this spirit, the story of the Gallic 
Wars is a very black one for Caesar and Rome. Yet unbiassed 
readers must generally admit that Caesar was a very careful 
and on the whole an honest historian. The accusation that 
he was capable of relentless cruelty springs from his own ad- 
missions. It was in the Roman character to despise life, and 
when Caesar thought that a rebellious tribe needed a lesson he 
did not hesitate to massacre defenceless women and children 
or to lay waste miles of territory with fire and sword. But, 
on the other hand, his preference was for clemency and 

Without making him a demigod, we ought to be able to 
see his greatness. As a young man his ardour of soul, work- 
ing in a debased society without ideals, made him simply 
more extravagant and more foppish than the spendthrifts 
and rakes who surrounded him. Doubtless the scandalous 
Suetonius has embellished the story of his early follies. Many 
of his youthful escapades were, one suspects, carefully designed 
to bring him into notice. It is probable that from a very early 
age he was ambitious, and his family connections clearly 
marked out his career as a democrat. He had the failure of 
Sulla before his eyes. The greatness of his character lay 
chiefly in an instinctive hatred for muddle and pretence. He 
could not fail to see the hopeless confusion into which the 
Roman state had fallen. From the first, I think, he was 
aiming at power for himself in order to put things straight. 
Whether self or country came first in his calculations, it is 
hard, perhaps impossible, to decide ; but the historian is not 
necessarily a cynic when he demands strong proof of altruism 
in the world of politics. To obtain power the democratic side 

H 113 

was the only possible one, for the nobles stood for the pre- 
dominance only of their class. Crassus was necessary to 
Caesar as his banker and creditor until he had acquired a 
fortune for himself by conquest. Pompeius was the foremost 
soldier of the day, and it is probable that Caesar deliberately 
sought to climb over the shoulders of Pompeius into monarchy. 
He saw he could not help seeing, for it was written plainly 
in the history of the past century that for power two things 
were necessary, the support of the mob in the forum and the 
backing of a veteran army. At the time when Caesar got 
Gaul for his province there was a fresh movement towards 
imperial expansion. Foreign conquest afforded some relief 
for the chagrins of internal politics. By it Marius, Sulla, and 
Pompeius had become powerful. If Caesar wanted to eclipse 
them all, he must present Rome with a new province, the 
most powerful of all bribes. It was in this spirit that he set 
out for Gaul. If his ulterior motive was selfish it is certain 
that he threw himself heart and soul, with all the burning 
energy of which his tireless spirit was capable, into the work 

of conquest and civilisation. 

And what a work it was ! Archae- 
ology is now beginning to prove to 
history that the so-called barbarians 
were by no means always savages. 
Even the "naked woad-stained" Britons 
had their arts and industries and politi- 
cal systems. The Gauls, when Caesar 
attacked them, were well on the road to 
civilisation. Druidism was a declining 
force, town-life was beginning, and 
there was even a fairly artistic coinage. 
The Gallic pottery is by no means 
destitute of beauty. As soldiers the 
Gauls showed many of the qualities of their descendants, 
a devoted impetuosity in the charge, coupled with a lack of 
tenacity in resistance which always cost them dear. Much of 

Gallic Pottery 


Csesar's success was due to his skill in dividing them against 
themselves, but many of his difficulties arose from their fickle 
disposition. Mommsen, like a true Bismarckian German, has 
a striking comparison of the ancient ^~ , 

Gallic Celt with the modern Irishman. 
" On the eve," he says, " of parting 
from this remarkable nation, we may 
be allowed to call attention to the fact 
that in the accounts of the ancients 
as to the Celts on the Loire and the Gallic Pottery 

Seine we find almost every one of the 

characteristic traits which we are accustomed to recognise as 
marking the Irish. Every feature reappears : the laziness in 
the culture of the fields ; the delight in tippling and brawling ; 
the ostentation . . . the droll humour ... the hearty delight 
in singing and reciting the deeds of past ages, and the most 
decided talent for rhetoric and poetry; the curiosity no 
trader was allowed to pass before he had told in the open 
street what he knew, or did not know, in the shape of news 
and the extravagant credulity which acted on such accounts 
. . . the childlike piety which sees in the priest a father and 
asks him for advice in all things" (this, by the way, was 
apparently a characteristic of the contemporary Germans also), 
" the unsurpassed fervour of national feeling, and the closeness 
with which those who are fellow-countrymen cling together 
almost like one family in opposition to the stranger; the 
inclination to rise in revolt under the first chance leader that 
presents himself, but at the same time the utter incapacity to 
preserve a self-reliant courage equally remote from presump- 
tion and pusillanimity, to perceive the right time for waiting and 
for striking, to obtain or even barely to tolerate any organisa- 
tion, any sort of fixed military or political discipline. It is, and 
remains, at all times and places the same indolent and poetical, 
irresolute and fervid, inquisitive, credulous, amiable, clever, but 
from a political point of view thoroughly useless nation ; and 
therefore its fate has been always and everywhere the same." 

The internal politics of Gaul seem to have been marked 
by a division between two parties, one the conservative 
party of the aristocratic knights, the other a nationalist 
and popular faction. Caesar used these divisions for the 
furtherance of his scheme of conquest. He was not only a 
consummate general with an instinct for strategic points and 
huge combinations, but he was also a superb regimental officer 
in the making of soldiers. By the end of his ten years he had 
forged a small but invincible army devoted to his interests 
and entirely confident in his leadership. Personally, moreover, 
the Roman debauchee was the best soldier in the army. 
Physically he was a stranger to weariness or fatigue. He 
could travel immense distances with incredible rapidity, alone 
on horseback, or with a handful of followers. He seemed 
ubiquitous. In the battle, when his men wavered, he would 
leap down into the ranks, sword in hand, or snatch the 
standard from the hand of a centurion and fight among the 
foremost. No detail of fortification or commissariat escaped 
him, and he, more than any one else, showed the power of 
engineering in warfare. In the supreme battle against 
Pompeius he even carried his devotion to the spade beyond 
reasonable limits when he tried to circumvallate the much 
larger camp of his enemies. One of his most surprising 
exploits was when half Gaul, supposed to be pacified, rose in 
sudden revolt under Vercingetorix. With a much smaller 
army he chased the rebels into the fortress of Alesia, neglect- 
ing for the time all communication with his base, and fully 
aware that a still larger army would soon advance to the relief 
of the besieged. He therefore entrenched himself outside 
the gates of the city and kept off the relieving force with one 
hand while he continued the siege with the other. But while 
he was capable of brilliant strokes of audacity like this, he 
was also a cold and cautious organiser of victory, ready to 
meet his enemies on their own ground and with their own 

In this great war, which ended in the conquest of Gaul, 


Caesar's expeditions to Britain were mere episodes which have 
been greatly exaggerated in the traditional histories of our 
schools. They were summer raids, like his dash across the 
Rhine, intended for a warning to the barbarians of the hinter- 
land ; for it seems that communication to and fro across the 
channel was continuous. It is probable enough that the per- 
suasions of the Roman traders who swarmed after the eagles 
across Gaul had their influence also. Undoubtedly the Romans 
of this generation were keenly alive to commercial openings, 
and always on the search for mines, real or imaginary. Further, 
we cannot deny that Csesar in all his undertakings had one 
eye upon his political position in Rome itself, and the "con- 
quest of Britain," that almost legendary corner of the earth, 
concealed in boreal mists and embosomed in the ever-flowing 
Ocean river, would be a sensational achievement calculated to 
outshine the Oriental triumphs of Pompeius. One cannot but 
place among the extravagances of hero-worship Mommsen's 
belief that Csesar had a prophetic insight into the true nature 
of the " German Peril " for Rome. When Caesar took over 
the Gallic province there was no tremendous German menace. 
There had always been occasional irruptions of the barbarians 
from across the Rhine, and a steady German penetration of the 
Netherlands. Caesar did not lay down any intelligible frontier 
policy : that was one of the achievements of Augustus. Both 
in Gaul and Britain it was simply a forward movement by a 
general of bold and untiring resolution, backed by an invincible 
army. The two trips to Britain, like those across the Rhine, 
were reconnaissances only, and the conquest of the island was 
one of the legacies which Caesar intended to reserve for the 
future. His successor very wisely declined it. There was 
little immediate profit there, and the Gallic conquests had 
glutted the Roman market with slaves. 

Gaul had submitted easily to a force of less than forty 
thousand Romans; then it had revolted unsuccessfully. In 
the end the whole country acknowledged defeat and rapidly 
began to assimilate Latin civilisation. Meanwhile in the 



imperial city the Republic was slowly expiring by a natural 
death. Every winter Caesar returned to the Cisalpine part of 
his province to receive intelligence from Rome and secure his 
position there. Clodius, the most evil of mob-leaders, was his 
agent with the democracy. Clodius had managed to hound 
the respectable Cicero into exile for his share in suppressing 
Catiline, and when Cicero, who was really popular at Rome, 
had at length persuaded Pompeius to allow his return, the great 
orator remained thenceforward a timid and reluctant servant 
of the triumvirate, defending their friends or prosecuting their 
enemies, with inward reluctance, no doubt, but with unimpaired 
eloquence. With his astonishing victories in Gaul the star of 
Julius was rising in the political heavens. The commons of 
Rome were not only dazzled by his successes, but captivated 
by his largesses. Meanwhile Pompeius was living on his 
military reputation, and slowly squandering it by his political 
incapacity. He continued to hold various high offices unknown 
to the constitution ; he became sole consul, a thing abhorrent 
to the Roman system; he held the province of Spain and 
governed it from Italy through his legates, and at the same 
time continued to exercise a general oversight over the corn- 
supply of Rome. In fact there was scarcely anything in the 
future position of a Roman emperor which had not its pre- 
cedent in the career of Pompeius. Had he wished it, or, more 
probably, had he known how to obtain it, he and not Augustus 
might easily have been the first Roman emperor. By taste and 
natural sympathies he was an aristocrat, but the force of cir- 
cumstances had driven him into an uncomfortable position of 
alliance with Caesar the democrat and Crassus the plutocrat. 
This was in a large measure the secret of his political helpless- 
ness. He, the conqueror of the East, often found himself 
openly flouted, nay, actually hustled and threatened in the 
streets, by the organised roughs. Meanwhile there was a 
small but tenacious opposition party of aristocrats, who had no 
discipline and therefore no leaders, but among whom Cato and 
Marcellus were the most conspicuous. They had not the 


strength to offer any consistent resistance to Caesar's progress, 
which they watched with growing jealousy and alarm. They 
had not the sense to rally the respectable elements in the state 
to their side. Both Cicero and Pompeius would readily have 
joined them if they had made it possible. Instead of that, they 
were content to carp at Caesar's achievements and threaten him 
with a prosecution as soon as he should return to private life. 
That was the stupidest mistake, for it made Caesar resolve at 
all costs to retain his command, and eventually precipitated the 
civil war. 

As it can easily be seen, the coalition between Caesar and 
Pompeius was not a natural one: psychologically they had 
nothing in common, and their interests soon began to diverge. 
Pompeius could hardly fail to perceive that Caesar was climbing 
by his help and at his expense. The old general saw the 
memory of his great deeds eclipsed by the ''.ew one, and there 
was no lack of mischief-makers to widen the breach. The 
alliance had been cemented in a striking fashion at a con- 
ference at Lucca in 56 B.C. when the conservatives were 
threatening to annul Caesar's acts in Gaul. Caesar had replied 
by inviting Pompeius to meet him in his southern province ; 
he also invited those senators who were his friends to appear 
at the same time. Two hundred senators had answered the 
invitation, and for the time being the opposition died away 
into grumbling. 

But now the breach was growing open to all men's eyes. 
Caesar's charming daughter, Julia, who had been married to 
Pompeius as a pledge of union, and had done much to hold 
the two chiefs together, died at an early age in the year 54. 
In the next year Crassus, the mediating third party of the 
"triumvirate," met his fate at Carrhse. In the next there 
were more than ordinary disorders over the elections, cul- 
minating in a fierce battle in the forum between the rival gangs 
of Clodius for the triumvirate and Milo for the senate. The 
senate-house was burnt and Clodius slain. Pompeius then 
became sole consul, and proceeded, under threat of his army, 


to introduce a series of laws almost openly aimed at Caesar. 
By the Pompeian law of magistrates Caesar would be compelled 
to appear in Rome as a private citizen for some months in the 
year 49, at the mercy of his enemies, while Pompeius himself, 
by having his titular command in Spain prolonged, would still 
be master of an army. These laws were passed at the crisis of 
Caesar's fate in Gaul, when the whole nation had risen in arms 
against him. But Caesar emerged victorious, and was now, in 
the year 50, free to consider his position in regard to Pompeius 
and the senate. Caesar himself maintains that he was reluctant 
to resort to violence, and I think we may believe him. Though 
nine legions were still under his command, he could hardly 
venture to denude the newly conquered province of its gar- 
risons, while Pompeius was master of an equal number of 
legions, including the veteran Spanish troops, and could levy 
any number of recruits or reservists in Italy. Caesar could not 
have faced the prospect of a civil war with any confidence as to 
the result, even if he had been the sort of man to provoke it 
without scruple. There is a further proof : as late as 50 B.C. 
he resigned two legions to Pompeius, which would have been 
madness if he had then intended to wade through bloodshed 
to a throne. In all the abortive negotiations which preceded 
the outbreak of the great civil war, Caesar was prepared to 
resign everything except the one condition upon which his very 
life depended, namely, that he should not have to return to 
Rome as a defenceless private citizen. The civil war was due 
to the mad folly of the conservatives led by Marcellus, who had 
convinced themselves that Caesar meant to sack Rome with his 
Gallic cavalry and to reign as tyrant over its ashes. In the end 
they succeeded in communicating their panic to Pompeius. 

Conciliatory to the last, Caesar was driven to show that 
he was in earnest. Bidden to dismiss his army, and declared 
a public enemy, in January 49 B.C. he took the decisive step of 
crossing the little river Rubicon which marked the frontier of 
Italy. Even then it was only a demonstration of force. Only 
1500 men followed Caesar to Rimini and Arezzo, and he still 
1 20 



offered peace on the most moderate terms. But the panic- 
stricken and conscience-stricken senators, still believing in 
the imminent sack of Rome, decided to leave their wives and 
children there while they saved their precious necks, in head- 
long flight to Capua, and then to Brindisi, and then to Greece. 
The great Pompeius showed equal panic. Apparently de- 
moralised by Caesar's swift and decisive movements, he decided 
to give up Italy without a struggle and retire to the East, where 
all his triumphs had been won. From there he would fight for 
the lordship of the world. 

But meanwhile Caesar, by his clemency no less than by his 
bold resolution, was winning all Italy to his side. Only one 
member of his army his old lieutenant-general Labienus 
deserted him, while fresh recruits even from the senatorial 
party daily joined him. Cool and methodical as ever, he left 
Rome to recover from its panic, and the East to wait until he 
had secured his hold upon the West. He knew the value of 
a veteran army, and therefore turned his march first to Spain. 
It took him but a short time to secure the capitulation of 
Pompeius's lieutenants in that province, and then at last he 
returned to Rome. He was only in the city for eleven days, 
but in that time he was able to remove the panic and disorder 
there. He restored credit, assured the supply of corn, and got 
a grant of citizen rights for his faithful provincials of Cisalpine 

Meanwhile the Pompeian army was gathering in northern 
Greece, and the senators were breathing death and damnation 
against Caesar. The final struggle on the Albanian coast and 
in Thessaly, which culminated in the great battle of Pharsalus 
(48 B.C.), decided the fate of the world. The troops were fairly 
equal, if numbers and training are taken into account ; in 
numbers alone Csesar was far inferior. But Caesar's men had 
extraordinary devotion to their general, as he had to his beloved 
legions. Never was there completer confidence between an 
army and its leader than between Caesar and his veterans. He 
could be merciless in discipline. Once he had to decimate the 



Ninth Legion, but he could move his grim legionaries to tears 
by a reproach. He shared all their labours, he starved with 
them, and marched those prodigious forced marches by their side. 
They trusted in his generalship, and they were not disappointed. 
Pompeius showed, when at last he roused himself, that he too 
had not forgotten the military art. It was a battle of giants ; 
Pompeius the more orthodox tactician, Caesar incredibly bold, 
rapid, and far-seeing. More than once it was touch and go. 
Caesar had terrible difficulties to face, above all in the necessity 
of transporting his army across the wintry Adriatic in face of 
the enemy when he had no fleet. The feat was accomplished 
by sheer audacity, and then he had to face and contain a larger 
army, thoroughly well prepared and supplied, with no base and 
no communications for his own men. He actually tried to fling 
a line of earthworks round the Pompeian army while his own 
men were starving. Yet it was by generalship that the battle 
of Pharsalus was won. 

Pompeius fled to Egypt for refuge, and was murdered there 
by treacherous Alexandrians and renegade Romans. Caesar, 
who had received the submission of the whole provincial world 
with the exception of King Juba's African realm, followed 
Pompeius to Egypt, and on landing was presented with his 
rival's head. In Alexandria itself Caesar had to face one of the 
most serious crises of his life. For six months he held the 
royal palace against a host of infuriated Orientals. In the palace 
was Cleopatra, the wife and sister of the reigning Ptolemy, and 
then a brilliant and fascinating young woman of twenty. Let 
us believe that she was beautiful, and that the portrait-painters 
and coin-engravers of her day were incompetent or disloyal.* 
But if rumour spoke truly, Caesar was by no means exclusive in 
his devotion to female charms. Her son was named Caesarion. 

When at length Julius Caesar escaped from the twofold 
entanglements of love and battle at Alexandria, he had more 
fighting still before he could make the earth his footstool. He 
spent a few days in Syria to arrange the affairs of the East, and 

* Plate 22, No. 2. 


among other things gave orders to build up the wall of Jerusalem, 
which had been thrown down by the orders of Pompeius. Then 
he passed over to Asia Minor, and at Zela crushed the rebellion 
of a Pontic successor of Mithradates. So back to Italy for a 
few weeks, and there he found all in disorder, and his legions, 
including the faithful Tenth, mutinying for their pay. He settled 
the disorder at Rome by his mere presence, enacted laws to relieve 
the economic distress there, and, having no money to pay his 
soldiers, quelled their mutiny by sheer sleight of speech. Mean- 
while the broken Pompeians had gathered in thousands at the 
court of King Juba, who himself had a formidable host. As 
soon as he could find time, the restless conqueror crossed straight 
to Africa with as many soldiers as he could muster, leaving 
the main force to follow. That was always Caesar's way to 
dart straight upon the scene of danger was his first instinct. 
At his coming the marrow oozed out of the very bones of his 
foe. He had a Scipio and a Cato, and a host of notable Romans 
arrayed against him. At Thapsus, in April of the year 46, he 
smote them, and slew (it is said) fifty thousand men fourteen 
legions of Romans. There at Utica, Cato died his famous Stoic 
death, far the noblest scene of his mistaken life, and so became 
a theme for the glorification of Stoic Republicanism for all 
time. Afranius, Scipio, King Juba, Faustus Sulla, and many 
others, died also. A few stragglers found their way to Spain, 
to continue the fight there under the two sons of Pompeius. 
Thither in the next year, so soon as he had leisure, Caesar fol- 
lowed them, and in a last great battle at Munda he finished the 
resistance. Only Sextus Pompeius was left of the Pompeian 
party, and he escaped for a time to begin an interesting career 
as a gentleman-pirate. 

In this manner the amazing Caesar conquered the world. 
Now it was unquestionably his. What was he to make of it ? 
This story has been told in vain unless it has shown that the 
city of Rome was rotten to the core, with no sound elements 
left in it. Caesar himself was a solitary prodigy; he had no 
supporters worthy of his confidence. Labienus had deserted 


him, Quintus Cicero, another of his legates in Gaul, had also 
fought against him. Mark Antony was perhaps his right-hand 
man, but Antony was nothing but a brilliant orator and a fair 
soldier; of character or reputation he had not a shred. Brutus, 
to whom Caesar was personally devoted, had fought against 
him, and was in spite of Shakespeare and republican tradition 
a vain and shallow egoist. Caesar had no brother and no 
legitimate son. Across in Apollonia his little great-nephew 
Octavius was still at school. Julius Csesar had to reorganise 
a broken world alone. For a hundred years there had been 
no peace in Rome, and no proper government in the empire. 
Every year of its lingering agony, the Republic had drawn closer 
to the inevitable issue in Monarchy. Even Cicero, when he 
tried to console himself for the horrible disorders of Roman 
life by depicting an ideal commonwealth, had been compelled 
to build it round ^princeps who should maintain order, and thus 
allow liberty to exist. In practice also the last century had 
seen a succession of "princes" Gracchus, Marius, Cinna, Sulla, 
Pompeius all from the necessity of the case forced into un- 
constitutional positions. And now Csesar had succeeded with- 
out a rival. Sulla had resigned power, and his work had 
almost immediately fallen to pieces. There was now, even more 
than then, no chance of building up a senatorial party, and in- 
deed Csesar had been the lifelong victim of senatorial arrogance 
and folly. It was equally impossible to build up a Roman 
democracy out of the demoralised loungers in the forum. 

Obviously monarchy was the only solution. Csesar was 
fifty-five years old, spent with war and labour, and, as I have 
said, quite alone. He was a man without beliefs or illusions 
or scruples. Not a bad man : for he preferred justice and 
mercy to tyranny and cruelty, and he had a passion for logic 
and order. He was not the sort of man to make compromises. 
His sudden successes had taught him to despise his enemies. 
He was not, of course, ignorant that the Romans (if there were 
any true Romans left) had it in their blood to hate the title of 
Rex. Every Roman schoolboy was brought up to declaim in 


praise of regicides. But possibly in time they could be 
accustomed to the hideous idea. For the present, old-fashioned 
titles like Dictator, Consul, and Tribune would suffice. But 
the office must be made hereditary, and the boy Octavius was 
already marked for adoption and succession. The title of Rex 
could wait. Caesar would feel his way gently. 

But patience was not one of his virtues. Actually fortune 
only left him less than two years, and those broken by tedious 
campaigns in the Spanish provinces, for the regeneration of 
Roman society. In that time he restored the finances, 
rearranged the provincial system, abolished the political clubs 
which had been centres of disorder at Rome, reformed the 
Calendar, dedicated a new forum and new temples, restored and 
revised the senate, founded a system of municipal government 
for Italy, settled his veterans on the land, and was preparing a 
great expedition to chastise the Parthians. 

Most of these acts were wisely done, but in one thing 
Caesar miscalculated. His brilliant successes and the adulation 
with which he was surrounded led him to despise his enemies. 
He would not stoop to natter antiquarian prejudices or to cast 
a decent veil over his monarchical position. You may treat 
people as slaves and they will admire you for it, but when you 
call them slaves they will begin to resent it. Caesar failed to 
rise from his chair to receive the senators. In his reformed 
senate he included representatives of the equestrian class, pro- 
vincials and even distinguished soldiers of quite humble birth. 
He allowed his statue to be set up beside the Seven Kings 
of Rome. He accepted a gilt chair, he permanently retained 
the triumphant general's laurel-crown, partly because he was 
bald and keenly sensitive about it ; and then either through 
his orders or by their own orficiousness his friends began to 
throw up ballons tfessai in the direction of kingship. At the 
Lupercalia Antony offered him a crown of gold. It was spread 
abroad that an ancient Sibylline prophecy had foretold that the 
Parthians could only be conquered by a king and that Caesar 
was to adopt the title for the purpose of his Eastern expedition. 

I2 5 


It was trifles like these, and trivial jealousies, trivial requests 
declined in the name of justice, that led to the great con- 
spiracy. No doubt the influence of rhetorical patriotism 
had its effect upon many of the conspirators. An unknown 
hand wrote " O that thou wert living ! " upon the statue of 
old Brutus the Liberator. But neither Brutus nor Cassius 
deserves our admiration. It was pique not patriotism that 
sharpened their daggers. Sixty senators conspired together, 
and on the eve of setting out for Parthia the Ides of March, 
44 B.C. Julius Caesar was slain. 

And then, having slain the tyrant and liberated the republic, 
the patriots were helpless. A doctrinaire like Cicero might 
still dream of restoring the commonwealth ; but the only real 
question was who should succeed. The people only cried for 
peace. It was not so much the speech of Mark Antony as the 
funeral of Caesar, cleverly stage-managed by Calpurnia, and 
the genuine sorrow of his veterans, which gradually turned the 
popular feeling against the conspirators. The senate did not 
venture to declare Caesar a tyrant, they confirmed his acts, but 
there was no proposal to punish the murderers. The whole 
conclusion was a feeble compromise. 

The man who should have grasped the helm was Mark 
Antony. He was left sole consul, there was a legion and 
the praetorian cohort under arms only waiting the word. 
The conspirators had only a few gladiators in their pay. 
Antony had every right to arrest them. But Antony was not 
the man for the part. With all his talents his character was 
feeble. He was always dependent on his surroundings and 
generally under feminine influence. Once it had been the 
dancer Cytheris, at present it was the aggressive Fulvia ; 
for a time Octavia almost reformed him, but Cleopatra easily 
ensnared him. He was a rake and a spendthrift, always in 
debt. He was timid of public opinion : just now the aristo- 
cratic society in which he moved was prating of tyrannicide. 
Antony wanted to be in the fashion. There were dramatic 
embracements between Antony and Brutus. 


Now the testament of Caesar, which had just been confirmed 
by the senate, named young Gneius Octavius as heir to three- 
quarters of his estate. At the end of the will was a codicil 
adopting him. Henceforth until he gets the title of Augustus 
this young Caesar must be called Octavianus, though he never 
accepted that name for himself. The " second heirs " named 
in case the first should fail or decline to succeed included 
D. Brutus, one of the murderers, and Mark Antony himself. 
Whosoever should accept the heirship would be bound by all 
Roman ideas of honour to undertake the chastisement of the 
murderers. Antony seems to have assumed that the obscure 
young man would not be likely to accept the inheritance. He 
therefore got together all Caesar's papers, and began to spend 
Caesar's immense fortune as only Antony could. He began 
also to manipulate Caesar's papers, inserting anything he liked 
among Caesar's "acts," selling honours, raising taxes, recalling 
exiles to please Fulvia. For some time no one ventured to 
complain. Leading senators like Cicero retired to the country 
remarking that the tyrant was dead but the tyranny still alive. 
Then, of course, Antony had to provide himself with a province 
to ensure his future safety. Moreover, the cry of the veterans 
for revenge began to move him to play the Caesarian. Thus 
Antony was virtually master of the Roman world and the sky 
was dark with menace. 

Into this dangerous arena steps the nineteen-year-old 
Octavian. His guardian advised him to have nothing to do 
with his perilous inheritance. Historians have often dubbed 
him a coward. But alone and unfriended this youth left his 
tutors at Apollonia and came to Rome to take up his trust. It 
meant, first, revenge upon the conspirators; and secondly, a 
quarrel with Antony. It meant, in fact, two more civil wars, 
and Octavian had seen nothing of warfare. He set to work 
coolly and warily. There was still a magic in the name of 
Caesar, and the veterans rallied to him and besought him to 
march against Brutus and Cassius. Part of his duties as 
executor was to pay a million sterling in donations to the 


Roman people. He sold his property and began to distribute 
the largess, man by man, tribe by tribe, until the sum was paid. 
He gave magnificent games in his " father's " honour, with the 
lucky star of Julius publicly exhibited. He bought an army 
of 10,000 men with borrowed money. Two of Antony's 
legions deserted to him bodily, and the very veterans of 
Antony's bodyguard offered to murder their general if young 
Caesar would give the signal. 

But there was no haste in his method. Antony was to be 
used first and then destroyed. Octavian tried for a time to 
work with the senate, and even marched against Antony under 
their orders, but the incredible folly of the senate, who were 
persuaded by Cicero that "the boy" was negligible, drove him 
into the famous triple alliance of Antony, Octavian, and 
Lepidus. These three were appointed under threat of their 
armies to a kind of dictatorship in commission, " a triumvirate 
to reorganise the state." Revenge was the explicit motive of 
this league. They began with the usual horrid proscription of 
all the senatorial aristocrats to be found in Rome. This was 
mainly Antony's work. His creditors, his enemies and his 
wife's enemies were slain wholesale, and, among them, Cicero. 
Eighteen towns of Italy were destroyed to provide lands for the 

Meanwhile the tyrannicides had gathered in the East, and 
now Antony and the young Caesar set out in pursuit of them. 
In the two battles of Philippi the luck of Octavian and the skill 
of Antony triumphed over their dispirited adversaries. Brutus 
and Cassius fell. A few of the " patriots " survived and 
joined Sextus Pompeius who was still at large in the Medi- 
terranean. In the warfare at Philippi Octavian's inexperience 
and real want of talent for generalship had been very apparent 
in contrast to Antony. Lepidus was already a nonentity. 
Antony went off to the East ; and while he was holding his 
court of justice in Cilicia there sailed into harbour the splendid 
royal yacht of Cleopatra. The people left the judgment seat 
to see the famous Queen, and Antony too was soon at her feet. 


Signer Ferrero would have us believe, relying partly on the 
mature age of Cleopatra, that it was policy, not love, which 
made Antony dally at Alexandria. Policy no doubt was there, 
but everything that we know of Antony leads us to believe 
that he was just the man to be captured by a celebrated 
courtesan, particularly if she were also a queen. Certainly his 
sojourn in the East lowered his character both as a politician 
and as a soldier. 

Octavian had to face Rome and the West. His task was 
full of perils but also full of possibilities. The soldiers were 
mutinous, he himself was grievously sick, and the redoubtable 
Fulvia, who was her husband's real agent at Rome, very soon 
perceived that he was an enemy to be fought. Octavian had to 
fight another small civil war at Perugia before he could call him- 
self master even of Italy, and then fight Sextus Pompeius in the 
Sicilian waters. Luckily he had at his side a splendid soldier 
general and admiral by turns as were all good Roman fighting- 
men Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa.* He had also as his agent 
at Rome Maecenas, an astute diplomatist and man of business. 
So though he himself often displayed feebleness and was often 
in danger he accomplished his task and became master of the 
West. Thus the lordship of the world was reduced to a 
plain duel. 

Antony had actually married Cleopatra after Fulvia's 
death and Octavia's divorce, and as consort of the Egyptian 
queen reigned in Oriental majesty. He had marched against 
the Parthians and failed ignominiously. He was assigning 
provinces and princedoms to Cleopatra and her dubious 
offspring. It was easy for Octavian to represent Antony as 
a renegade Roman threatening to introduce Oriental monarchy 
into Rome. When at last it came to the final civil war 
Octavian appeared as fighting in the public cause of Rome 
against Egypt, with Antony as a mere deserter on the Egyptian 
side. The great naval battle of Actium (31 B.C.), which 
decided the mastery of the world for Octavian, was thus a 

* Plate 27. 

I 129 


triumph for the Roman arms over the barbarians. Actually it 
was a degenerate Antony who sailed away at the crisis of the 
battle in the wake of the queen's yacht. The glory of the 
day was Agrippa's. The luck as usual was the young Caesar's. 
He was able to inaugurate his reign at Rome by presenting 
her with Egypt, the richest country in the world. In 29 B.C. 
he came home to celebrate a glorious triple triumph and to 
open a new era as the first Roman Emperor. 


Such is a brief sketch of the hundred and four years from 
the day when Tiberius Gracchus first arose to challenge the 
senatorial oligarchy to the day when the Empire was estab- 
lished upon the ruins of the Republic. It is perhaps the most 
terrible century in the history of the world. Rome had become 
the centre of the world, the only hope for civilisation, and 
Rome was filled with bloodshed and corruption. For the 
provinces there was no decent government, only a succession 
of licensed plunderers. In the city itself there was a long 
series of personal struggles for the mastery; politics meant 
organised rioting by gangs of roughs, questions were solved 
by the dagger or by the swords of senators. At intervals 
there came from each side alternately the murderous proscrip- 
tions, in which every man of spirit or eminence on the 
opposing side was marked down for destruction. Often their 
sons and grandsons perished with them, and in any case their 
fortunes were destroyed. Besides the proscriptions there had 
been of late a series of civil wars on a great scale in which 
thousands of the bravest Romans perished by each other's 
swords. A successful foreign war may have some compensating 
effect in stiffening the moral fibre of a nation and exalting its 
spirit. But civil war is disastrous in every way. It is only 
the meanest who survive and the evil passions which it 
arouses have no compensation. 

In such a period it is wonderful that civilisation should 
have been able to make any advances at all. But in spite of 



the public turmoil private citizens were amassing enormous 
fortunes out of the plunder of the world, and living, though 
always on the edge of a volcano, in state and luxury like 
kings. It is now our task to see something of private life and 
culture in the Rome of the expiring Republic. 

Money was easily made in those days and lavishly spent. 
Even an honest man like Cicero, governing a comparatively 
poor province like Cilicia, made at least .20,000 by 
his year of office while he remitted to the provincials a 
million, which, as he says, any governor of average morality 
would have retained. Legacies were a very frequent source 
of revenue especially to pleaders, and it was customary for a 
rich testator at Rome to make large bequests to his friends. 
Cicero gained .200,000 by such legacies. Foreign kings 
and states paid handsomely for legal advice or support. 
Although a barrister was supposed to give his services for 
nothing yet gifts and legacies were not refused. For the 
financier or business man there were many channels to affluence. 
There were mines all over the empire to be financed and 
exploited. Although there was little genuine industry at Rome, 
yet the training and use of slaves for various undertakings was 
a lucrative business. Crassus trained a salvage brigade for 
Rome and went about to fires with them in order to make bids 
for the purchase of the burning property. Atticus trained a 
company of copying clerks and made money by the sale of 
books. He also kept gladiators and hired them out to 
magistrates for the games. Fortunes were made, as in the 
case of Crassus, by buying up the confiscated property of the 
proscribed. Land speculation was rendered extremely profitable 
by the frequent assignation of farm-lands to veteran soldiers 
who were generally glad to sell them at once. The extravagance 
of the Roman nobles led to a very brisk traffic in loans at high 
interest. There was a great deal of genuine commercial 
speculation in ships and cargoes, generally by companies, and 
Cato advises the investor to put his money in fifty different 
enterprises rather than in one at a time. Commerce over-seas 


was, however, forbidden to the senators by the Claudian law, 
and these speculated chiefly in land, on which they made a 
profit by slave-labour. But the most profitable business of all 
was tax-farming, in which the equestrian classes joined together 
in capitalist rings. In these and other ways prodigious 
fortunes were accumulated. The stored-up capital of the 
Roman world is astounding in its magnitude compared even 
to that of modern times. The real property of Pompeius sold 
f r .700,000. ^Esopus, the popular actor, left .200,000. 
After the most lavish donations to the public Crassus left 
nearly two millions sterling by will. On the death of Caesar 
the treasury contained eight millions in bullion of which a 
million was the dictator's own property. 

But all the wealth of the Roman empire was shared by a 
very narrow circle. The gulf between rich and poor was far 
deeper than it is to-day. We hear of poor nobles and rich 
upstarts, but of a respectable middle class with traditions of its 
own there is little trace. There is an aristocracy of a few 
thousand families, and nothing else but a vast proletariat, silent 
and hungry, dependent on their bounty, bribed with money, 
bribed with free corn, and bribed with bloody spectacles. They 
lived miserably in huge tenement blocks or in hovels on the 
outskirts of the city. The only career open to them was in the 
army, and that was chiefly filled by the stronger rustics. They 
had nothing to do but lounge in the streets, gape at gladiators 
and actors and shout for the most generous politicians of the 
day. No doubt there were honest citizen cobblers, but Roman 
history is silent about them. 

That section of the city which is to be styled Society was as 
proud and reckless as the French aristocracy before the Revolu- 
tion. The senate had now become almost literally a hereditary 
rank. A child born into one of these princely houses was 
tended by a multitude of slaves. By this time there was some 
attempt at a liberal education. Attended by a slave pedagogue 
the boy would go daily to the school of some starved Greek, 
who would teach him his letters and his figures. The staple 


of education was the delivery of artificial declamation on the 
model of Isocrates or Demosthenes. After this stage a young 
man would commonly be sent abroad to Athens or Rhodes to 
finish his education with a little philosophy or mathematics, 
but chiefly with oratory. Returned to Rome, his destiny placed 
him in a circle of foppish youths, who devoted their principal 
attention to dress and manicure. Bejewelled and scented, they 
practised every vice, natural and unnatural. In due course, 
with no effort but a few bribes from the parental purse, they 
became priests and augurs, thus entering what were in reality 
aristocratic dining-clubs. Dining was now the principal art of 
Rome. Macrobius has preserved the menu of one of these 
priestly dinners of the Republic, at which the priests and vestals 
were present. The party began with a prolusion like the 
Russian or Swedish system of hors d'ceuvres, in which seven- 
teen dishes of fish and game were presented. The dinner 
itself contained ten more courses, " sow's udder, boar's head, 
fish-pasties, boar-pasties, ducks, boiled teals, hares, roasted 
fowls, starch-pastry, Pontic-pastry." Such was the State religion 
of Rome in the first century before Christ. At intervals the young 
noble's father's friends would invite him to join their staff on 
foreign service. If he had the good fortune to serve with 
Pompeius or Lucullus in the East or with Caesar in Gaul, he 
might get a taste of real manliness, and serve his country as 
tribune of the soldiers. But more often in a peaceful province 
like Sicily or Africa he was merely initiated into the arts of ex- 
tortion, and enjoyed all the vicious opportunities of the younger 
sons of princes. Thus fortified by experience he would return to 
Rome to seek the suffrages of his fellow-citizens for the quaestor- 
ship, the first rung on the ladder of office. Votes were to be won 
by bribery, direct or indirect. One candidate would spread a 
banquet for a whole tribe ; another would seek to outshine his 
rivals by providing strange beasts from Africa among Cicero's 
correspondence there is an urgent appeal for Cilician panthers 
to be slain in the arena or by dressing his gladiators in 
silver arniour. Similar requirements accompanied his progress 



through all the stages of office on a progressively lavish scale. 
As quaestor he would be a judge or a comptroller of the treasury 
for a single year. Then as sedile he would conduct the public 
festivals, preside in the aedile's court, control the markets and 
streets of Rome. So he rose to be consul, commander of 
legions and president of the state, and then in due course 
governor of an enormous province. From his quaestorship 
onwards his seat in the senate was assured. 

In his home the noble Roman lived like a king, waited upon 
by an enormous retinue. There was much luxury and little 
comfort. The houses of the Romans were on a far more luxu- 
rious scale than those of the Greeks. The only genuine Roman 
taste that can be called liberal was the hobby of collecting 
beautiful town houses and country seats. Cicero, who was a 
man of modest income and tastes, seems to have possessed 
about eighteen different estates, and gave nearly .30,000 for 
his town house. The qualities prized in the choice of a 
mansion were space and coolness, and the Romans of this age 
were by no means insensible to the charms of scenery. The 
coast round Naples and Baiae was dotted with sumptuous 
villas, and the gay world spent its summer there in much the 
same way as the cosmopolitan crowds at Biarritz. Besides his 
great town house and his family mansion at Arpinum, and his 
country houses at Tusculum and elsewhere, Cicero had marine 
villas all along the coast at Antium, Formiae, Cumse, Puteoli, 
and Pompeii, and all along the Campanian road were his private 
" inns," where he lodged on his journeys. His favourite villa 
was the one at Tusculum, the scene of many of his literary 
labours, and among others of the famous Tusculan Disputa- 
tions. It had previously belonged to Sulla, and was adorned 
with paintings in commemoration of Sulla's victories. It was 
situated on the top of a hill along with many other villas of the 
aristocracy, and commanded a delightful view of the city about 
twelve miles away. The park attached to it was extensive, and 
through it there ran a broad canal. He had books everywhere, 
but his principal library was deposited at Antium. At Puteoli 



he constructed a cloister and a grove on the model of Plato's 

The principal feature of the Roman house was its large 
colonnaded hall, with a roof open in the middle to admit light 
and air. This roof sloped inwards, and allowed the rain to fall 
into a central tank, delightful for coolness, no doubt, but prob- 
ably very unwholesome.' In old days the atrium had been the 
common room of the Roman family. It still retained a sym- 
bolical marriage-bed, a symbolical spinning-wheel, the portraits 
of the ancestors, and the ceremonial altar to the family gods, 
who were now stored away in a cupboard close at hand. Most 
of the rooms opened directly out of the atrium. As they are 
seen in the ruins of Roman villas, they appear to have been 
comparatively small and ill-lighted. The larger houses them- 
selves were generally built of local limestone with facings of 
stucco, though the greater part of Rome was still in this first 
century B.C. constructed of sun-baked bricks. It was con- 
sidered unheard-of luxury when Mamurra faced his walls with 
marble slabs. The floors were generally tessellated. It was an 
innovation of the Roman architect to build houses of three or 
more stories, but it was probably only a starveling poet who 
would live on the fourth floor. A noble's house would spread 
over the ground regardless of space, but the bedrooms and 
sometimes the dining-room were upstairs. Externally the 
Roman house was a little finer than the Greek, being fronted 
with a pillared forecourt and a dwelling for the concierge. At 
the back the atrium opened into a colonnaded garden with a 
fountain, flower-beds, and shrubbery. 

As the Roman's house was built mainly with a view to 
coolness, so his daily life was that of a southerner. Rome was 
never a healthy city in the summer, and all who could afford it 
fled to the country or the sea-side. Almost every Roman 
known to us in literature was either an invalid or a valetudina- 
rian. Malarial fever in its periodic form was very widely 
spread, and most of our distinguished friends pursued a 
medical regimen. Ceesar was subject to fits of epilepsy, Cicero 



was of weak constitution, Horace was a martyr to ophthalmia 
as well as malaria, Augustus was always ailing and often at 
death's door. The Roman's most amiable idiosyncrasy was his 
devotion to the bath. Every considerable house had an elabo- 
rate bathing department with at least a hot room built over a 
furnace, and a cold room with a swimming-tank. But there were 
also public baths, on an ever-increasing scale of magnificence. 
Agrippa alone built 170 of them at Rome. Rich and poor alike 
made it their daily practice to bathe after exercise, just before their 
principal meal in the early afternoon. The custom of the noon- 
tide siesta was universal, except with prodigies of industry like 
Cicero. A great deal of time was spent in lounging abroad 
through the streets or under shady colonnades. The streets of 
Rome, as of all ancient cities, were extremely narrow, but in 
the busy parts of the city all wheeled traffic was forbidden. 

The wealthy Romans have a name for abominable luxury 
and gluttony. As to the general question of its influence in 
destroying the morality of Rome I have already ventured to 
express disbelief in the popular view. From all that we read, 
it does not appear that the ordinary Roman was naturally 
addicted to intemperance either in eating or drinking. The 
praise of wine is with Horace a literary pose; personally he 
had a poor head and a poor stomach. The Italian is not, and 
probably never was a great natural eater or drinker judged by 
northern standards. But rhetoricians and satirists have de- 
lighted to dwell upon the immensity of Roman dinner-parties 
which often lasted all day and included a hideous series of 
curious and exotic dainties. This was the form which, in 
default of any nobler ideals, wealth at Rome had chosen for its 
display. Time hung heavily on this slave-tended aristocracy : 
to dine from dawn to daylight was one of the ways of killing 
it. So the guests reclined on their couches, dancers jigged 
before them, musicians played, occasionally a tumbler or a 
tight-rope walker would appear, in literary households a slave 
would read philosophy ; and all the time the soft-footed slaves 
were coming and going with dishes of strange morsels gathered 



from the ends of the earth, and rare wines from the four corners 
of the globe. A dish of nightingales' tongues is not the sort 
of thing to please one who is a gourmet by conviction or 
natural taste. Eating was for most of these poor starved 
imaginations the only form of culture they understood. It was, 
however, conducted with tremendous ceremony. There was a 
" tricliniarch " to marshal his " decuries " of slaves as each 
dish came into the room. There was a special " structor " to 
arrange the dishes, a special " analecta " to pick up the frag- 
ments that the diners dropped. Carving was a science with 
various branches, as in old England, and the skilful carver 
had his scheme of gesticulations for each kind of dish. There 
was another slave specially appointed to cry out the name 
and quality of each plat. In addition to these every guest had 
his own footman standing behind his couch. The most charac- 
teristic and the most unpleasant feature of a Roman banquet 
was the manner in which the diners assisted nature to provide 
them with an appetite. Even Julius Caesar "took his vomit" 
both before and after his dinner-party with Cicero. 

The public shows, which formed the chief recreation 
of rich and poor alike, grew yearly more brutal and bloody. 
As they were the means by which ambitious candidates for 
office sought to canvass popularity, the principal aim was to 
present something novel and startling. No doubt the more 
refined spectators regarded the butchery of wild beasts or paid 
gladiators with disgust, but the populace at large only shouted 
for more blood. Five hundred lions were slaughtered on one 
day at the triumphal games given by Pompeius. Cicero writes 
that the wholesale destruction of elephants in the arena actually 
moved the people to pity. There were still some real theatrical 
performances in Rome. Actors and mimics, indeed, if they were 
handsome and graceful, made large fortunes. Most Roman 
nobles of a literary bent amused themselves with writing 
tragedies. Cicero's soldier brother composed four on a fort- 
night's journey to Gaul. But these were only employed to bore 
one's friends at dinner. Original literary dramas were even 



less often staged at Rome than they are in London. Plautus 
and Terence for comedy, and Pacuvius, Attius, and Ennius for 
tragedy, had already become classics and were still regularly 
performed. The drama died stillborn at Rome. 

Historians of Rome, fortified by Juvenal and Petronius, love 
to depict the vices of the emperors and the imperial period. 
The later Republic can show us a morality no more exalted. 
The fragments of Varro's satires written in the heyday of the 
Republic are in precisely the same strain of despondency as 
are the satires of Juvenal. For him, too, virtue is a thing of 
the past. Sober fact compels us to see that the aristocratic 
society of Republican Rome was hideously immoral. Volun- 
tary celibacy and " race-suicide " were already rife. The family 
was a decaying institution, divorce was common, and the 
sterility of wickedness had long been at work to sap the ranks 
of the nobility. Even Cicero divorced his wife Terentia upon 
a trivial pretext after a long period of happy conjugal life in 
order to marry an heiress. Csesar had four wives of his own, not 
to mention Cleopatra, without begetting a single legitimate son. 
Cato, the strict censor of morals, having been jilted in his youth, 
married a wife, divorced her for adultery after she had borne 
him two sons, married another, lent her for six years to the 
orator Hortensius, and on his death resumed her again. Mark 
Antony married Fadia, then Antonia, then divorced her and 
lived publicly with Cytheris the actress, then married 
Fulvia, who had already been twice a widow, then married 
Octavia, then Cleopatra. These marriages were made and 
dissolved freely for political reasons. A large part of Roman 
politics was carried on in the salons of the Roman ladies, and if 
half of what Cicero alleges be true Messalina herself had her 
republican prototypes in women like Clodia and Fulvia. Beside 
almost promiscuous relations between the sexes, the darker 
forms of Oriental vice were extremely fashionable among the 
gilded youth of Rome. 

Religion was almost purely formal or political. Augur- 
ships and priesthoods still existed as the perquisite of aristo- 



cratic families. People still uttered the formulae of oaths and 
vows. There was still some belief in omens and prodigies, 
the altars still smoked with sacrifice when triumphant generals 
went up to the capitol, but few prayers ascended to Jupiter in 
sincerity. Instead the importation of strange deities continued. 
Again and again in this first century before Christ the senate 
tried to expel the worship of Isis from the precincts of Rome, 
but it always returned, and eventually the triumvirs built a 
temple to Isis and Serapis as a measure to court popular favour. 
The Magna Mater of the Phrygian corybants had long been 
firmly established at Rome. 

I think it was general materialism and immorality which 
killed the old State religion at Rome. Greek philosophy had 
generally been able to exist amicably by the side of religion. 
It now came in to fill up the gap left by the absence of real 
religious feeling. But at Rome, though Stoicism afterwards 
became a powerful force of inspiration to the noblest minds, 
philosophy was in the main a form, of literary activity for 
dilettantists. Cato of Utica was a Stoic by temperament 
before he became one by doctrine. Cicero amused his leisure 
by recasting and combining the doctrines of the leading Greek 
schools in a Roman form of dialogue, in imitation of Plato; but 
with him it was more of a literary exercise than anything else, 
and Cicero has added little or nothing to the world's stock of 
philosophical ideas. Only in the poet Lucretius does the fire 
of philosophy burn with genuine ardour. Lucretius had before 
him the task of proselytising at Rome for the doctrines of 
Epicurus and Democritus. People accustomed to the modern 
associations of the word " epicure " may wonder what there 
was to arouse the enthusiasm of a poet in the philosophy of 
Epicurus. That creed offered a rational explanation of the 
universe. With its theory of spontaneous atomic creation, 
and its surprising foreknowledge of some at least of the ideas 
of natural selection and evolution, it claimed to satisfy the 
intellect of mankind and to drive out all the grovelling super- 
stition and empty rites which had usurped at Rome, as they 



tend to do always and everywhere, the throne of religion. All 
the enthusiasm with which the nineteenth century approached 
the new discoveries of science glowed in the heart of this 
rugged poet of the first century before Christ. "Voluptas" 
was his only goddess, but it was no vulgar pleasure of the body 
upon earth. It was the spirit soaring to freedom and know- 
ledge. This atheist Epicurean is, in the true sense of the 
word, the most religious of all poets. He explains the nature 
of lightning in order that his fellow-creatures may not live in 
fear of thunderbolts. He explains with the same confident 
logic the nature of death in order that they may not fear the 
natural resolution of body and soul into their primordial atoms. 
He is moved almost to tears by the folly and sorrow of his 
brother-men.'and he pleads with them to suffer the sacred lamp 
of philosophy to shine upon their darkened minds : 

at nisi purgatum est pectus, quae praelia nobis 
atque pericula sunt ingratis insinuandum ? 
quantae turn scindunt hominem cupedinis acres 
sollicitum curse? quantique perinde timores? 
quidue superbia, spurcitia ac petulantia, quantas 
efficiunt cladeis ? quid luxus, desidiaeque ? 
haec igitur qui cuncta subegerit, ex animoque 
expulerit dictis, non armis, nonne decebit 
hunc hominem numero diuom dignarier esse ? * 

His doctrine is medicine for the feverish unrest of the day : 

exit saepe foras magnis ex aedibus ille 
esse domi quern perteesum est, subitoque reuentat ; 
quippe foris nihilo melius qui sentiat esse. 
currit agens mannos ad uillam praecipitanter 
auxilium tectis quasi ferre ardentibus instans : 
oscitat extemplo tetigit quom limina uillae 

* But unless the breast is cleared, what battles and dangers must then find 
their way into us in our own despite ! What poignant cares inspired by lust 
then rend the distrustful man, and then also what mighty fears ! and pride, 
filthy lust, and wantonness ! what disasters they occasion, and luxury and all 
sorts of sloth ! He therefore who shall have subdued all these and banished 
them from the mind by words, not arms, shall he not have a just title to be 
ranked among the gods? (V. 43-51, Munro's translation,) 






aut abit in somnum grauis, atque obliuia quserit, 
aut etiam properans urbem petit atque reuisit. 
hoc se quisque modo fugit . . .* 

He has a compassionate scorn for the mourner : 

aufer abhinc lacrumas, barathre, et compesce querelas . . . 

cedit enim rerum nouitate extrusa uetustas 

semper et ex aliis aliud reparare necesse est ; 

nee quisquam in barathrum, nee Tartara deditur alta. 

materies opus est ut crescant postera saecla ; 

quae tamen omnia te, uita perfuncta, sequentur : 

nee minus ergo ante haec quam tu cecidere cadentque. 

sic alid ex alio nunquam desistet oriri ; 

uitaque mancipio nulli datur, omnibus usu. f 

Death has no sting for him : 

num quid ibi horribile apparet ? num triste uidetur 
quidquam ? non omni somno securius exstat ? J 

Lucretius was, of course, set down by Cicero, as was Shake- 
speare by Dryden, as being rude and unpolished. His poem 
is indeed sheer didactic argument with occasional digres- 
sions, and he strings his points together with the bald transi- 
tional words and phrases of argumentative prose. But in 

* The man who is sick of home often issues forth from his large mansion, and 
as suddenly comes back to it, finding as he does that he is no better off abroad. 
He races to his country house, driving his jennets in headlong haste, as if 
hurrying to bring help to a house on fire ; he yawns the moment he has reached 
the door of his house, or sinks heavily into sleep and seeks forgetfulness, or 
even in haste goes back again to town. In this way each man flies from 
himself. (III. 1060-8, Munro's translation.) 

t Away from this time forth with thy tears, rascal ; a truce to thy com- 
plainings. . . . For old things give way and are supplanted by new without fail, 
and one thing must ever be replenished out of other things; and no one is 
delivered over to the pit and black Tartarus. Matter is needed for after 
generations to grow, all of which, though, will follow thee when they have finished 
their term of life ; and thus it is that all these no less than thou have before this 
come to an end and hereafter will come to an end. Thus one thing will never 
cease to rise out of another ; and life is granted to none in fee-simple, to all in 
usufruct. (III. 955, 964-71, Munro's translation.) 

I Is there aught in this that looks appalling, aught that wears an aspect of 
gloom? Is it not more untroubled than any sleep? (III. 976-7, Munro's 



virility of thought and expression, even in majesty of sound 
and force of vivid imagery, he is, when he cares to be, on 
a plane quite above and away from the ordinary sphere of 
classic Latin poetry. Almost alone among Roman writers he 
has a message of his own to deliver. His fellow-countrymen 
thought little of him, and failed to preserve any details of his 
biography. The monks of the Middle Ages consigned him to 
the hell he had flouted, and Jerome provided him, five hundred 
years after his death, with an end edifying to piety, but quite 
incredible to any one who has read his work with sympathy. 
He was said to have died of a love potion, and to have com- 
posed his poem in the intervals of delirium. He appears to 
have lived between 100 and 50 B.C. 

In addition to the tragedies and epics which noblemen threw 
off as an elegant pastime for their superfluous leisure hours, 
love-poetry, pasquinades, and vers de soctitt travelled merrily 
from salon to salon. If Lucretius carries the heaviest metal of 
Latin poets, Catullus has by far the lightest touch. He writes 
with an ease which makes Horace seem laboured, and with a 
simplicity which makes Propertius and even Ovid look like 
pedants, though Catullus himself, like all Romans, thought fit 
occasionally to adopt the classical pose, and fill his verses with 
learned allusions. If it were not for the influence of the school- 
room, to which most of Catullus's work is for the best of reasons 
unknown, he would be recognised as possessing far more of the 
vital spark of poetry than Horace. Roman culture, being mainly 
second-hand, is almost entirely lacking in the quality of fresh 
youth which we enjoy in such writers as Chaucer and the early 
Elizabethan singers. Catullus, therefore, the earliest important 
lyric poet of Rome, is by no means unsophisticated. On the 
contrary, he is a clever son of the forum a boulevardier, one 
might say with a pretty but savage wit in reviling democrats 
like Csesar and Mamurra. But, with his truly Italian scurrility, 
he combines the quintessence of Italian charm. When the in- 
spiration takes him he is simple, direct, and natural. Indeed, 
the shorter poems of Catullus seem to me to reveal more of the 

w * 



essential Roman than all the rest of Roman literature put 
together. We have the innocent pleading of the April lover in : 

soles occidere et redire possunt : 

nobis cum semel occidit breuis lux 

nox est perpetua una dormienda. 

da mi basia mille, deinde centum, 

dein mille altera, dein secunda centum, 

deinde usque altera mille, deinde centum.* 

and the awful simplicity of his wrath at betrayal : 

Cseli, Lesbia nostra, Lesbia ilia, 
ilia Lesbia, quam Catullus unam 
plus quam se atque suos amavit omnes, 
nunc in quadriuiis et angiportis 
glubit magnanimi Remi nepotes. 

We have a more genuine-sounding love of nature in his praises 
of Sirmio, and a more natural pathos in the famous lament for 
his brother, than any other Latin poet can give us. In one 
species of composition, the Epithalamium, he is supreme. For 
example : 

flere desine, non tibi Au- 

runculeia, periculum est 

nequa femina pulchrior 

clarum ab Oceano diem 

uiderit uenientem. 

talis in uario solet 
diuitis domini hortulo 
stare flos hyacinthinus. 
sed moraris, abit dies : 
prodeas, noua nupta. 

prodeas, noua nupta, si 
iam uidetur, et audias 

* Suns may set and rise again ; for us, when once our brief day has waned, 
there is one long night to be slept through. Give me a thousand kisses, and 
then a hundred, and another thousand, and a hundred to follow yea, and 
another thousand and yet a hundred ! (Carmen, V. 4-9.) 


nostra uerba. uiden? faces 
aureas quatiunt comas : 
prodeas noua nupta.* 

The music of this, with its beautiful imagery and refrains, is 
no doubt based upon an Alexandrian foundation. There is a 
distinct echo of Theocritus. But it is also distinctively Italian, 
and the greatest of modern Italian poets, Carducci, writes like 
a legitimate descendant of Catullus. Catullus has as little 
biography as Lucretius. He must have died at an early age in 
the fifties B.C. He was a poor man. He had only a town house 
and two villas, one on the Lago di Garda and one at Tivoli. 
He hated Caesar and loved Cicero. That his "Lesbia" was 
the infamous Clodia is generally asserted. I do not believe it. 

These two poets, Lucretius and Catullus, then, stand almost 
alone as representatives of Republican Roman literature on the 
poetical side. Both are Romanising various Alexandrian 
Greek modes, but both have something genuinely Roman, a 
quality which we may best describe as virility, to add to their 
originals. This was the point from which a genuine Roman 
literature might have taken its departure. Instead of that, the 
next era is that of a courtly school of classicists, largely writing 
to order, who gave to Latin its distinctively classical bent. 

Cicero, the most classical of all classics, is, however, far the 
greatest literary product of the Republic. He is, indeed, far 
too vast a figure for these modest pages. By his colossal in- 
dustry and immense fertility of genius his influence dominates 
the whole field of Latin prose literature. He is not only the 
greatest of all orators, but he stands as the type of the orator 
in life as in literature. We of this generation, who live in the 
eclipse of rhetoric, do not find it easy to be just to him. With 
such gifts of eloquence, such a power of uttering tremendous 

* Cease to weep, Aurunculeia : Thou need'st not fear that any lovelier maid 
should see the bright day coming from Ocean. 

Even so the hyacinth is wont to bloom in the rich man's many-coloured 
garden. But thou lingerest. The day is passing. Come forth, thou bride. 

Come forth, thou bride, now if it please thee, and hear our songs. Look how 
the torches shake their golden hair ! Come forth, thou bride. 




phrases about duty and patriotism, we cannot but feel affronted 
at his political incapacity. Mommsen, who is all for action, 
peppers him with contemptuous expressions "a statesman 
without insight, opinion or purpose"; "a short-sighted 
egoist"; "a journalist of the worst description"; "his 
lawyer's talent of finding excuses or, at any rate, words for 
everything." And, indeed, among men like Caesar with legions 
at their backs, or creatures like Clodius with their packs of 
hooligans, a man of golden words and honest principles does 
cut a sorry figure on the pages of history so much the worse 
for history ! He had, as we have seen, a policy, his talents made 
him a leader among the moderates of the senate, and his 
character made him genuinely popular among all the more 
respectable classes of society. But Rhetoric is one of the 
feminine Muses, and Cicero's nature was as soft and sympa- 
thetic as a woman's. So he turns his coat at a word from 
Pompeius, utters brave words one day and eats them on the 
next, publishes magnificent denunciations which he has not had 
the courage to deliver. Moreover, we see his intimate thoughts 
revealed in all the frankness of an unexpurgated private corre- 
spondence and there are few statesmen, certainly very few 
orators, whose reputations can sustain that test. Thus the 
golden words often ring hollow. His vanity is often ludicrous, as 
when he writes to Lucceius, to beseech a conspicuous place in his 
history, even if the truth has to be distorted for the purpose ; or 
when he loiters at Brundisium, with his lictors' rods continually 
wreathed in laurel for the futile hope of a triumph. Certainly 
he was an egoist. Probably in their private correspondence all 
men are. But he was also a gentleman, one of the few Romans 
of his day with whom one would care to shake hands in Elysium. 
To Mommsen, Caesar is the "sole creative genius" of 
Roman history. We may well ask what he created. Cer- 
tainly not the empire, for that fell to pieces at his death, and 
had to be re-created on a new plan by his successor. Not even 
the Gallic province, for though he conquered it, he left the 
problem of its organisation to Augustus. Possibly the Lex 

K 145 


Julia municipalis. But Cicero* created Latin prose out of 
next to nothing and left it to the world as its grandest form 
of literary expression. The splendid Latin period, with its 
clear logical order, its chain of dependent clauses each in its 
place with absolute precision, a thought built of words as a 
temple is built of marble, is the best expression of Roman 
grandeur, as typical and as enduring as a Roman road or wall. 
It was not mere art. It was the natural expression of a Roman 
mind trained in law and rhetoric. It was perhaps the finest 
thing the Romans ever made, and the Latin period is the true 
justification for retaining Latin in its place for the education 
of young barbarians accustomed to string their random ideas 
together like dish-clouts on a line. Although it was the 
result of long training under all the most distinguished masters 
of Rome and Greece, and was perfected with infinite labour, 
Cicero's style, when once achieved, was extraordinarily rapid 
and fluent, as the number of his works can testify. It is true 
that, like many great stylists Dryden, for example he came 
to believe that style was everything. He was prepared to 
write a geography of the world or a history of Rome. He 
only wanted a few notes from his brother Quintus to write an 
account of Britain. His multitudinous philosophical works 
were, as we have seen, more style than philosophy, thrown off 
in a few months to while away the time at his Tusculan villa 
at intervals when the temperature of Rome, literally or politi- 
cally, was too high to suit his health. In such work he 
may fairly be called a journalist, though a very great one. 
When he writes of a subject he really understands, such as 
rhetoric, he is at his best. Again, in his forensic speeches or 
writings he is much better as an advocate than as a lawyer. His 
mind is not capable of juristic precision, he is neither deep nor 
subtle, and so far his influence is wholly detrimental in the 
history of Roman law. He would probably infuriate a trained 
judge ; but give him a jury, and, if possible, a large Italian 
one, and he is irresistible, now with translucent rapid narra- 

* Plate 15. 


tive, now with clever mystification, breaking off into thundering 
appeals to conscience or heaven, or again with passionate 
denunciation of his opponent or majestic encomium for his 
client. In the senate he is not at his best. We are told that 
a few blunt words from Cato had more power to move that 
assembly of practical men than all the Catilinarian orations. 
But if Rome had been governed as Greece was, by orations in 
the market-place, Cicero would have been in Caesar's place as 
dictator of the world. Imagine the Roman mob assembling 
in 63 B.C. to hear their consul's account of Catiline's flight 

tandem aliquando, Quirites, L. Catilinam, furentem 
attdacia, scelus anhelantem, pestem patriae nefarie molientem, 
uobis atque huic urbi ferrum flammamque minitantem, ex urbe 
uel eiecimus, uel emisimus, uel ipsum egredientem uerbis 
prosecuti sumus. abiit, excessit, euasit, erupit. nulla iam 
pernicies a monstro illo atque prodigio mcenibus ipsis intra 
moenia comparabitur. non enim iam inter latera nostra sica 
ilia uersabitur: non in Campo, non in foro, non in Curia, non 
denique intra domesticas parietes, pertimescemus * 

his voice screams with passion, or sinks into pathos; pre- 
sently he drops into the tones of calm reason or fluent 
narrative ; as he nears his peroration his eyes flash, his hands 
gesticulate, his body sways from side to side, his foot stamps 
the ground, he seems to foam at the mouth : 

dolebam, dolebam, patres conscripti, rempublicam uestris 
quondam meisque consiliis conseruatam, breui tempore esse 
perituram . . . audite, audite, patres conscripti, et cognoscite 
reipublicse uolnera. . . .f 

* At last, Fellow Citizens of Rome, at last we are quit of Lucius Catiline. 
Mad with audacity, panting with iniquity, infamously contriving destruction for 
the fatherland, hurling his threats of fire and slaughter against us and our city, 
we have cast him forth or driven him forth or escorted him forth on his way with 
salutations. Gone, vanished, absconded, escaped ! No more shall disaster be 
plotted against our bulwarks from within by that monster, that prodigy of 
wickedness. No more shall that dagger threaten our hearts. No more in the 
Campus, nor in the forum, nor in the senate-house, no more within the walls of 
our own homes, shall he fill us with panic and alarm. 

t I was grieved, Fathers and Senators, grieved that the republic once saved 
by your exertions and mine should be doomed so shortly to perish. . . . Listen, 
listen, Fathers and Senators, listen and learn the wounds of our fatherland ! 



" Why, you did not even stamp your foot ! " he exclaims in 
rebuking the coolness of an opposing counsel. It is true that 
there were purists of the severer school of Roman oratory who 
thought such vehemence meretricious and undignified. The 
true Roman eloquence of the old school is to be found in that 
ambassador who came to the Carthaginian senate with " peace 
or war," gathered in the folds of his mantle and briefly com- 
manded them to choose; or that other who drew a circle in 
the dust round the Great King and demanded an answer 
before he left the circle. Cicero had studied his art both in 
the flowery Asiatic and the severer Attic schools. There was 
still, his critics complained, too much Asia in his style. But 
that was part of the tendency of his age. The austerity of 
Cato, with his simple formulae, was gone for ever. The 
Romans of this age are more emotional, more sentimental, 
more characteristically Southern. 

If we reproach Cicero with weakness and cowardice in his 
political life, the story of his end may atone for it. After 
Caesar's murder, when Antony was master of Rome, a man 
utterly unscrupulous and wedded to a still more unscrupulous 
wife, Cicero flung away all his timidity and hesitation. Con- 
vinced that the consul was trying to re-establish a monarchy, 
the old orator came down to the senate and launched at him 
the series of ferocious but most eloquent philippics. Some 
were spoken, some merely written and published. It was 
courting death in the cause of liberty. Cicero was not blind 
to the danger he was running. But he is probably sincere 
when he says that life has no more attractions for him. 

defendi rempublicam adolescens ; non deseram senex : 
contempsi Catilinae gladios ; non pertimescam tuos. quin 
etiam corpus libenter obtulerim, si repraesentari morte mea 
libertas ciuitatis potest; ut aliquando dolor populi Romani 
pariat quod iamdiu parturit. etenim si, abhinc prope annos 
uiginti, hoc ipso in templo, negaui posse mortem immaturam 
esse consulari, quanto uerius nunc negabo seni ! mihi uero, 
iam etiam optanda mors est, perfuncto rebus iis quas adeptus 



sum quasque gessi. duo modo haec opto : unum, ut moriens 
populum Romanum liberum relinquam ; hoc mihi maius a dis 
immortalibus dari nihil potest : alterum ut ita cuique eueniat, 
ut de republica quisque mereatur.* 

As he foresaw so plainly, the philippics caused his doom. 
When the triumvirate drew up its proscription-lists, Octavian is 
said to have pleaded for his life. But Antony's wrath was 
implacable. Cicero's head and his hands were nailed to the 
rostra from which he had so often poured out his rhetoric, and 
the virago Fulvia, so the story goes, thrust her needle through 
his eloquent, venomous tongue. 

Julius Caesar, that miracle of energy, beside being a 
competent grammarian and no mean poet, was reputed the 
second of Roman orators. Of that we have little means of 
judging. Certainly he could quell a mutiny by a speech, 
and his Commentaries were not the least wonderful of his 
achievements. Professedly they are mere notes for a real 
historian by " historian " the Romans always meant " orator " 
to dress up for literature. They are mere despatches 
intended to inform the senate and the world of the progress 
of his campaigns. They were written at odd moments in a 
prodigiously active life. Their style is so simple and so correct 
that we cast them as pearls before the fourth-form schoolboy. 
Yet they are in reality a triumphant product of the rhetorical 
art; so simple, they must be honest; so modest, they must be 
candid. You would scarcely think that they are a defence or a 

* As a youth I defended the state ; I will not fail her in my age : I spurned 
the swords of Catiline ; I will not tremble at thine. Nay, sirs, I would 
gladly give my body to death, if that could assure the liberty of our country and 
help the pains of the Roman people to bring the fruit of its long travailing to 
birth. Why, nearly twenty years ago in this very temple I declared that death 
could not come too soon for a man who had enjoyed a consulship. With how much 
more truth shall I declare it in my age ! To me death is already covetable ; I 
have finished with those rewards which I have gained and those honours which 
I have achieved. Only these two prayers I make : one, that at my death I may 
leave the Roman people free (than this nothing greater could be granted by the 
immortal gods), and, secondly, that every man may so be requited as he may 
deserve at the hands of the republic ! 



vindication. In the same easy flow of narrative breathless escapes 
are concealed. Who remembers from his schooldays Caesar's 
description of that moment, so pregnant with human destiny, 
when the eagle first alighted on our shores in the hands of the 
gallant centurion of the Tenth Legion ? Caesar seems more 
like a Greek than a Roman in his directness as in his reticence. 
Fortunately for history Caesar had far more natural curiosity 
than most of the Romans. It is surprising how little Cicero 
really tells us of Roman or Cilician life in all his voluminous 
correspondence. But Caesar went out to explore as well as to 
conquer. It may even be true that his visit to Britain was, as 
he asserts, partly due to curiosity. He notes our little insular 
peculiarities our custom of sharing wives, our habit of 
keeping the hare, the hen, and the goose as pets because our 
religion forbids us to eat them. He sees the superior civilisa- 
tion of Kent. He observes our clothing of skins, our dyeing 
ourselves blue with woad, our long hair and moustaches, our 
horsemen and charioteers, our innumerable population and 
crowded buildings, our plenteous store of cattle, our metals 
bronze, iron, and tin. He is equally observant in Gaul and 
Germany. The debt that history owes to him for these records 
is incalculable. 

Lesser lights such as Sallust and Nepos dabbled in history 
and have had the good fortune to survive. Livy, though he 
wrote under Augustus, is a true Republican in mind and 
sympathy. His majestic history of Rome is the work of a 
rhetorician setting out to extol the glories of the Republic. 
Although he sometimes displays a rudimentary critical instinct 
in comparing his authorities, his main task was to Latinise 
Polybius and to embellish with first-century style the dry 
annals of Fabius Pictor and Licinius Macer. It is not the 
least of our many grievances against the monks that they 
allowed so much of Livy to disappear. 

The golden age of classical literature covers this last half- 
century of the Republic and the first half-century of the 
Empire. There is, on the whole, little trace of division 



between the general character of Republican and Imperial 
letters except that with Augustus the principal writers are 
definitely engaged under the Emperor's banner of reform. The 
main characteristic of both is rhetoric and convention. It is 
to Alexandria and its state-fostered writing-club that the world 
owes convention in literature. The Romans drew their 
inspiration from Greece but mainly from Alexandria, and as 
literature at Rome was now chiefly in the hands of a clique of 
nobles it was possible for a classical style to grow strong 
there. Cicero and his friends evolved a style, not only of 
literature but even of thought, which could pronounce itself as 
" urbane," and all else as barbarian or rustic. Roman literature 
of the first centuries before and after Christ was as much 
under the domination of epithets like " urbane " and " humane " 
as was the literature of the eighteenth century under "elegant" 
and " ingenious." Even Livy as an outsider was suspected of 
mingling "Patavinity" with his Latinity. It is the aris- 
tocracies of literature, such as the court of Louis XIV. or of 
Charles II., or such as the coffee-house cliques of Addison's 
day or the Johnsonian clubs, which create and maintain our 
periods of classical convention. 

Literature, as we have already seen occasion to remark, 
since it works in the most plastic medium, is generally the first 
of the arts to develop ; and literature is only yet beginning. 
But then Rome borrowed her arts wholesale from Greece, and 
thus her culture has no true infancy. The burning problem 
of Roman originality in Art must be reserved until we reach 
the Augustan age. For the present we must still deny the 
existence of any really spontaneous art growth at Rome during 
the Republic. Where native art may be looked for with the 
highest probability of finding it is in architecture, portrait- 
sculpture, and painting; in architecture, partly because the 
Romans had a natural passion for building and partly because 
their religious and social habits called for quite distinct types 
of construction in palaces, halls, amphitheatres, triumphal 
arches, fora, and other secular buildings upon which the Greeks 


had wasted little of their attention ; in portraiture because it 
was a peculiar custom at Rome to make and display images of 
their ancestors, whereas the Greeks in their love of the ideal 
had until latterly shrunk from the presentation of casual human 
lineaments and still idealised them as far as possible, and also 
because the Etruscans, who were the first nurses of Roman 
culture, had developed portraiture for themselves ; and in 
painting, partly owing to the same Etruscan influence and 
partly because the Romans, using inferior building materials 
such as brick, limestone, and terra-cotta covered with stucco, 
were naturally drawn to mural painting for the sake of orna- 
ment. But if we look for originality here we are disappointed. 
Undoubtedly hundreds of magnificent villas were being run up 
all over Italy from Como to Sorrento, but a Roman villa was 
more an affair of landscape gardening than of architecture. It 
consisted mainly of a series of courts and colonnades sprawling 
at large over the ground. The walls were built of coarse tufa 
or peperino ; they were only just beginning to be incrusted with 
marble slabs. As a city Rome was still contemptible a 
huddled mass of narrow, tortuous alleys. Augustus swept 
away as much of it as he could afford to demolish, and his 
historians remark that " he found Rome built of brick and left 
it built of marble." There were of course ancient temples, 
venerable with dignity, and no doubt to us they would have 
seemed beautiful with the picturesqueness of antiquity. But 
with Gracchans and Marians and Clodians rioting at large 
through the city, many of these venerable shrines were destroyed 
by fire. The Roman ruins as seen by the modern traveller are 
almost all of Imperial times. The great Temple of Jupiter on 
the Capitol was rebuilt four times. The round temple of Vesta 
was frequently destroyed and restored. Although for religious 
reasons the plan of the original was generally preserved in 
these rebuildings, the details were in accordance with the style 
of the day. Nevertheless the plans are interesting. The 
round shrines of Vesta and Mater Matuta* are clearly an archi- 

* Plate 44, Fig. 2. 




tectural development from a round hut constructed of wood 
with a thatched 'roof. Indeed the Temple of Vesta is said to 
have been modelled on the hut of Romulus. It was perhaps 
originally the king's house in which the princesses tended the 
sacred fire. The Temple of Jupiter Capitolinus also was, if we 
may trust the coins, built on an un-Greek plan with three naves 
instead of a single nave with aisles. 

The only two considerable relics of Republican architecture 
are the Tabularium and the Temple of Fortuna Virilis, both 
dating from the period of Sulla. In that period, when Rome 
had just discovered Greek culture, when the armies of Sulla 
and Lucullus came home laden with Greek spoil, there was a 
temporary outburst of artistic activity at Rome. It was, how- 
ever, entirely in the hands of foreign artists. In 143, Metellus, 
the victor of Macedonia, built the first marble temple at Rome 
in the Campus Martius. Sulla himself carried off the huge 
columns of the unfinished temple of Olympian Zeus at Athens 
to adorn the Roman Capitol. The Cyprian Greek Hermodorus 
was employed to construct temples and docks. The Romans 
had indeed their native principles of building, which from a 
merely constructive point of view were in advance of anything 
that the Greeks had evolved for themselves. Greek architec- 
ture of the best period had been almost exclusively devoted to 
the service of religion. Their efforts were almost limited to the 
perfecting of the Doric and Ionic temple, and when they had to 
build a secular building like the gate of the Acropolis, they were 
still content with a mere adaptation of Doric temple to their 
new purpose. Their building material was marble, and with 
their peculiar artistic discretion the Greeks saw that marble was 
at its best in the austere lines of pediment and columns. But the 
Romans, before they imported marble, had made a beginning 
with brick and cement, which require quite different methods 
of architecture. In prehistoric " Servian " days they had dis- 
covered or learnt from the Etruscans the use of the vault and 
arch, at any rate for tunnels, but it is characteristic of their 
artistic poverty that they had made little architectural use of 



these important principles. The triumphal arch seems to have 
been a Roman invention, and several triumphal arches were 
built in republican days, but unfortunately we have no informa- 
tion as to their style. The Sullan revival of art was purely an 
importation of foreign models. In the Temple of Fortuna 
Virilis built in 78 B.C. we see how the Romans used their 
imported architecture.* The graceful Ionic columns support 
nothing. They are used for ornament as the West African 
native uses his European clothes. The Greeks had indeed 
used engaged columns, as in the Erechtheum, to complete the 
design where there was no space for a free colonnade, but the 
Romans built them into their walls for the sake of ornament. 
This is typical. Culture was to the Greeks a vital part of their 
existence, to the Romans it was an embellishment. 

But Roman architecture, having made this effort, had 
relapsed again until the days of the Caesars. There was more 
destroying than building in the evil days of Cicero's prime. 
The selfish plutocrats were too busy building their villas to 
give a thought to the gods' or the city's adornment. 

It was much the same with the other arts. Take the coins, 
for example. The clumsy copper A s, with the head of Janus 
on the obverse and the prow of a ship on the reverse,! had 
of old weighed 1 2 ounces. All through republican history it 
was gradually shrinking; in 217 B.C. it was fixed at one ounce, 
in 89 B.C. at half an ounce. Long before that, however, silver 
had taken its place. As we have remarked, silver was not 
coined, though no doubt it circulated, at Rome before 268 B.C. 
From 2 1 7 onwards silver became the real standard of value, and 
about 80 B.C. the copper coinage ceased altogether for a time. 
Not only were the original designs of the "heavy copper" 
borrowed from Greece, but there is not the least sign in the 
Roman coinage of any artistic development as time progresses. 
Simply, as Head remarks, " the degree of excellence attained in 
any particular district depended upon the closeness of its rela- 
tions, direct or indirect, with some Greek city, or at least with 

* Plate 1 6. | See page 18 





a population imbued with the spirit of Greek art." There are 
coins of Sulla, both silver and gold, doubtless of Greek work- 
manship, which display fairly artistic designs.* But the coins 
of Antony and Cleopatra, interesting as they are historically, 
and designed, of course, in the Hellenised East, are much 
inferior.* We notice an attempt at portraiture, but the striking 
resemblance between the Roman triumvir and the Egyptian 
queen suggests the question which of the pair was the 

In sculpture, too, the most ardent supporters of Roman 
originality can find little to comfort them in the closing cen- 
tury of the Republic. We have seen how the victories of 
Mummius and his successors had created a taste and a market 
for Greek works of art. With those of Sulla and Lucullus 
immense quantities of loot had crossed the Adriatic, and Rome 
began to be what New York is now, the home of connoisseurs 
and collectors. As connoisseurs are wont to do, the Roman 
millionaires studied commercial values rather than artistic 
qualities. No doubt in time their taste improved from the 
days when Mummius had warned his men that any of the 
Greek masterpieces destroyed in transit would have to be 
replaced by new ones. But they still went very largely by the 
names of the artists : a genuine Praxiteles or Scopas was worth 
immense sums. Every villa now required statues for its 
adornment Greek originals, if possible ; if not, copies. For 
the most part they were reckoned purely as objects of value 
along with handsome tables, vases, bowls, and signet-rings. 
When Cicero buys Greek statues he prefers Muses to Bacchantes 
as being more appropriate to his studies. The question of 
artistic value scarcely enters his mind. The most famous 
named sculptor of this period is the Italian-Greek Pasiteles, who 
visited Rome about 90 B.C. and there made original statues for 
Roman temples. Pasiteles, of course, was of the Hellenic 
decline. He was a metal-worker by training, and his work 
is like that of Cellini, more decorative than creative. It is 

* Plate 22, Nos. 3 and 3. 


jewellery on a large scale. He evolved no new style of his 
own, but set himself to copy and elaborate ancient types to 
meet the artificial demand for antiquities. Many of the 
"archaistic" works in our museums belong to this period of 
production, and as decoration many of them are extremely 
charming. We have other names of the Pasitelean school, all 
Greek, such as Stephanus and Menelaus, but there is very 
little originality or interest in them. The Venus Genetrix in 
the Louvre is undoubtedly a fine statue, and is probably a 
faithful copy of the original by Arcesilaus of the first cen- 
tury B.C.* But the face, at any rate, quite visibly goes back to 
the Greek sculpture of the fifth century, and perhaps, as has 
been suggested, to Alcamenes. It is in the treatment of the 
transparent drapery that the present artist shows his skill. 
Skill there was in abundance in those Greek chisels of the 
first century ; even the Farnese Hercules of Glycon and the 
Medici Venus f are astonishing as efforts of chisel-craft, utterly 
debased and debasing as they are. 

We know from history that portrait statues had long been 
common at Rome. The forum was full of them. We saw 
in an earlier chapter how the old Etruscans had placed terra- 
cotta portraits of the deceased upon their tombs, and how the 
old Romans preserved wax images of their forefathers for use 
at funerals. Most primitive peoples have an instinctive dread 
of portraiture as a sort of blasphemy. Perhaps the early 
growth of facial portraiture at Rome was helped by the worship 
of a man's genius, his luck, his spirit, his guardian angel. 
The genius naturally was depicted in the likeness of the man 
himself. So the imagines in a Roman atrium were no mere 
portraits of defunct ancestors. Rather they were visible pre- 
sentments of invisible presences. Unfortunately very few 
unquestionably genuine examples of republican portraiture 
have survived. Portraits of ancient celebrities were freely 
constructed at all times, and it is not easy to date them. We 
have not at Rome as we have in Greece a clear line of artistic 

* Plate 18, Fig. i. \ Plate 18, Fig 2. 




a . 



a > 

- a 


< 2 

X 0- 




development which enables the trained archaeologist to date 
any casual work of art to within half a century almost at a 
glance. It is now a question of employing more or less skilful 
Greeks. It is probable that most of the portraits already 
illustrated in this book were executed under the Caesars, but 
they may well go back to earlier if ruder likenesses, and in any 
case the portraits are interesting for their own sake. The 
portraits of Julius Caesar, both the white marble bust in the 
Vatican Museum* and the still more striking example in black 
basalt in the Barracco Museum at Rome, are, however, almost 
certainly of contemporary or, at the latest, Augustan date, so 
real and vivid is the portraiture. There is another very fine 
black basalt head of Julius in Berlin,f but its authenticity has 
been questioned. It certainly corresponds very closely with the 
profile of the dictator on his coins.J The bust of M. Brutus 
may also be identified by comparison with the coins. That of 
Cicero is probable but not so certain. 

This art of realistic portraiture, then, is claimed as the 
great contribution of ancient Rome to artistic progress. It 
yet remains to be shown that any part of the work was done 
by native artists. At present the evidence is all in favour of 
Greek authorship. But the Romans may claim the credit of 
demanding or even inspiring realism. Roman archaeologists, 
especially those who, like Wickhoff and Mrs. Strong, are con- 
cerned to plead the cause of Roman originality in art, often 
seem to assume that the Greeks of the best period could not 
express individuality, in fact that the ideal tendency of their 
statues, portraits included, is due to convention if not to the 
sheer limitations of their craftsmanship. Elsewhere we have 
seen that much of the apparent simplicity of Greek work of 
the best period is really elaborate self-restraint. All their 
religious ideas forbade them to express divinity with any marks 
of time or place upon face or feature. So when it came as it 
came slowly to portraying a statesman like Pericles, or a 
monarch like Alexander, they deliberately honoured them by 
* Plate 20, Fig. i. f Plate 19. J Plate 22, Fig. 4. 



idealising them and smoothing away the accidentals. Thus 
they concealed the inordinately long skull of Pericles by 
depicting him in a helmet. They could be realistic enough 
when they chose to be, but that was never in the adornment 
of temples except just so far as to indicate the barbarity of 
Centaurs or Giants in contrast to the perfection of the Greek. 
Myron's Cow has perished without offspring, but the slave- 
boys on the tombstones are realistic enough to say nothing 
of the Ludovisi Reliefs. Realism was no new discovery of 
the Romans. On the contrary, so far as it was an innovation 
it was an act of indulgence, a breaking down of self-imposed 
barriers. Even then, was it inspired by any abstract passion 
for the naked truth, such as moved Cromwell to command his 
portrait-painter to include the warts? Not entirely. The 
Romans were a rhetorical, not a realistic people. I believe 
that Roman realism in portraiture is chiefly due to the national 
custom of preserving the imagines taken from the death-masks 
of the illustrious dead. On Greek soil the Greek artists were 
still idealising their portraits witness the fine head of Mithra- 
dates on the coins of Pontus ; * but when their Roman sitters 
asked for realism they gave it gave it sometimes with the 
unexpected thoroughness of Mr. Sargent. Besides coins and 
statues there are very fine portraits on the gems of the first 
century B.C. 

Towards painting too we saw that the Romans had in- 
herited some traditional bent. We hear of Greek painters 
highly esteemed at Rome in this period as well as of imported 
Greek pictures fetching enormous prices. The Romans loved 
colour, and their villa walls were commonly stuccoed and 
painted, if not incrusted with marble, while their floors began 
to be inlaid with pictorial mosaic. But we have little or 
nothing of this date to show. It should, however, be noted 
that the graphic taste of the Romans together with their habit 
of treating art as mere decoration was now leading to a new 
phase of pictorial sculpture which will have important effects 

* Plate 22, No. i. 



in the bas-relief work of the Augustan period. In revenge 
Italy was now turning out a system of plastic decoration for 
vases in the Aretine pottery * which was new and full of 

On the whole the verdict must go against Rome at any 
rate republican Rome as regards artistic originality. The 
Rome of Cicero's day was amazingly rich and dreadfully poor. 
It had a high culture in some respects, but it was too corrupt, 
morally and politically, to produce good work of its own. If 
there had been any possible rival in the field, Rome would 
assuredly have perished in the course of that distracted 
century. If she had perished then, what would she have left to 
the world? A few second-hand comedies, Lucretius, Catullus, 
and Cicero ; a small equivalent for all the blood that she had 
shed, and all the groans of her provincials. 

* Plate 21, 




ultima Cumasi uenit iam carminis aetas ; 
magnus ab integro saeclorum nascitur ordo. 
iam redit et Virgo, redeunt Saturnia regna ; 
iam noua progenies cselo demittitur alto. 


ERGIL'S Fourth Eclogue, irqqi 
which my text is quoted, is often 
called the "Messianic Eclogue." It 
is a strange poem. In the midst of a 
book of pastoral eclogues very closely 
modelled on the Idylls of Theocritus, 
the young poet from Mantua inserts 
one in which he invites the Sicilian 
Muses, that is, the Muses of Theo- 
critus, to assist him in a loftier strain 
than usual. His poem is a vision, 
a prophecy of a return of the golden age to accompany the 
birth of a child. It is not easy to determine what child. The 
poem was written for the consulship of Pollio, who had 
helped Vergil to recover his paternal farm. Thus it is very 
probable that the poem was really a piece of very gross 
flattery directed to a patron. Nevertheless the prophecies 
of peace on earth which it foreshadows chime so strangely 
with the Messianic language of Isaiah that the scholars 
of the Middle Ages alternatively placed Vergil among the 
prophets or condemned him as a wizard. But apart from 
that approaching event to be witnessed in an obscure village 
of the client-princedom of Judaea there was even in secular 
1 60 



history a general expectation of better days to come. The 
Virgin Justice did in sober fact return to the Roman world 
when Octavian, in 29 B.C., came home to celebrate his triumph 
over the three continents. 

I make high claims for Octavian* or as he may now 
be called by anticipation "Augustus" in history. Julius 
Caesar has usurped the credit of inventing that wonderful system 
the Roman Empire. The credit really belongs to Augustus. 
Monarchy, indeed, had for two generations at the least become 
inevitable at Rome, as everybody, from Catiline to Cicero, was 
bound to admit. In the scramble to realise it Julius Caesar had won 
the day and had thereupon proceeded to introduce his conception 
of its proper form. He died before his plans were perfected and 
we have no means of knowing his inner purpose. But we know 
that he had spurned the dignity of the senate, had taken some of 
the paraphernalia of royalty and set up his statue alongside of the 
old kings of Rome. His plan of a naked despotism had failed, 
because he had not reckoned with the tyrannicide sentiment of 
the Roman nobles. His assassination was no mere episode or 
accident. It was impossible to live like an oriental despot in the 
republican city without an oriental bodyguard. Julius Caesar 
had failed through pride. When he fell, the whole dreary 
round of proscriptions, triumvirate, and civil wars had to begin 
again. The inevitable monarchy had to be devised afresh on 
a different basis : that was the task of Augustus. He devised 
it in such a manner that it lasted in the West for just five 
centuries and in the East for nearly fifteen. Indeed it can 
hardly be said to be totally extinct now in the twentieth. 
Judged by results then, the work of Augustus was clearly a 
consummate piece of statesmanship. When we consider the 
methods by which that result was obtained we shall, I think, 
esteem Augustus as the greatest statesman in the history of the 

Augustus has never been a popular hero. The pure states- 
man who has no dashing feats of arms to his credit, and who 

* Frontispiece, and Plates 23, 24, 25, 26. 

L 161 


has left us no records of impassioned eloquence, does not 
lend himself to idealisation. Augustus had no contemporary 
biographer, nor even any very great historian ancient or 
modern. The early Empire is in the gap between the end of 
Mommsen and the beginning of Gibbon. Dr. Gardthausen 
has collected all the available material about Augustus but has 
scarcely succeeded in making him clear or real to us as a man. 
Tacitus touched him off in a few satirical epigrams as the 
crafty tyrant who "bribed the army with gifts, the populace 
with cheap corn, and the world with the blessings of peace, and 
so grew greater by degrees while he concentrated in his own 
hands the functions of the senate, the magistrates, and the 
laws." For biographical particulars we have to go to Sueto- 
nius's Lives of the Twelve Ccesars, a most unsatisfactory source. 
Suetonius's pages teem with human interest, but for purposes 
of history they are provoking and baffling. He is a patient 
bookworm who compiles systematic little biographies without 
a glimmer of the biographical sense. As imperial librarian he 
had access to most valuable sources of information but he had 
no critical instinct in using them. He simply collected scraps 
from various sources and grouped them under headings. For a 
list of virtues he would go to a courtier's panegyrics and then 
turn to a seditious pamphlet for a catalogue of vices. His own 
instinctive preference being for scandal, he has touched nothing 
which he has not defiled. It is chiefly due to Suetonius 
that Augustus appears as a selfish hypocrite, Tiberius as a 
libidinous tyrant, Gaius as a maniac, Claudius as a pedantic 
clown, and Nero as a monster of wickedness. And yet under 
these five reigns the Empire was growing steadily in peace and 
prosperity. The rulers who were omnipotent cannot have been 
altogether such as they are described. The factious senators 
who still dreamed of unreal republican glories and still 
treasured the memories of Cato as a saint and Brutus as a 
martyr were not, of course, allowed free criticism of their 
monarchs. They revenged themselves by writing secret libels, 
many but not all of which logic and common sense can easily 





disprove. When it came to popular reigns like those of 
Vespasian or Hadrian the censorship of the press was removed 
for a time, and then the senatorial Republicans like Tacitus 
and Juvenal took ample revenge upon the dead. The scurrilous 
pamphlets were unearthed and exalted into historical documents 
and so passed down to our historians as history. It is a 
suspicious and thankless task to attempt the rehabilitation of 
these emperors. The world is rightly sceptical of the process 
which it calls "whitewashing." Moreover the necessary data 
are wanting. We can only allow our imaginations to suggest 
how different the story would look if it had been told from a 
sympathetic point of view. 

It is very difficult to form any complete idea of the 
character of Augustus as a man. He had shown daring and 
ambition when as an obscure lad he had crossed to Italy in 
44 B.C. to take up his perilous inheritance as Caesar's heir. 
He had been cool and diplomatic even in those earliest days in 
the way he intrigued with the senate against Antony, and then 
with Antony and Lepidus against the senate. He had had 
extraordinary luck when both the consuls died in the engage- 
ments round Modena, and left him, the praetor, in charge of a 
great army. Then we have the infamous acts of the trium- 
virate, when the unfortunate senators and knights were pro- 
scribed in hundreds, and Cicero, with whom the young Caesar 
had been on intimate terms, was handed over without apparent 
compunction to Antony's vengeance. Admirers said that in 
this he was overborne by his older colleague, and yielded 
reluctantly to a stern necessity for destroying the tyrannicide 
party. Enemies declared that even if he had been reluctant to 
begin the bloodshed he was the most cruel of persecutors when 
it started. In the fourteen years of civil war that followed, he 
had succeeded in winning his way through to victory more by 
coolness and luck than by any display of generalship. I do 
not think that we can fairly accuse him of cowardice. It was 
a bold act when he rode alone and unarmed into the camp of 
the rebellious and hostile Lepidus, and took his legions away 



from him without a blow. He had not the dashing gallantry 
of Antony, or the fiery vigour of Julius, but he must have 
had the gift of nerve and coolness. He had certainly come 
through the most terrible difficulties and dangers from open 
enemies and rebellious armies by land and sea. In the last 
duel with Antony luck had been with him once more. Like 
the rake and gambler that he was, Antony had thrown away 
his game for the sake of Eastern ambitions and Eastern 
dalliance. Then there was that last scene of Cleopatra's 
tragedy, when the conqueror came to her palace after Antony 
had committed suicide. She tried to win him by the same 
arts that had won his "father" and his rival. Dressed in her 
finest robes she came weeping to him, and displayed the picture 
and the letters of Julius wet with her tears. He judged her 
splendour coldly as a future ornament for his triumph at 
Rome, and when she disappointed him of that by a suicide 
staged as all her life had been for theatrical effect, he hunted 
down her two elder children with the same cold ferocity 
as before. Policy forbade them to survive. That was all he 
thought of. 

And now at the age of thirty-four, with this record behind 
him, he had come back to Rome to celebrate his many triumphs. 
No doubt the few remaining nobles at Rome trembled at 
his coming. Remembering the proscriptions some of them 
might well tremble, especially those who had sided with 
his enemies, with Sextus Pompeius, or with L. Antonius, or 
with Marcus. On the other hand, some might remember the 
clemency which Julius Caesar had displayed in his hour of 

Augustus had to restore confidence and order in a shattered 
world. He had to deal with provinces ruined and desolate, a 
form of government quite visibly obsolete, an aristocracy with 
immense traditions of pride and power now thoroughly corrupt 
and effete, a Roman mob which still called itself lord of the 
world, but which was in a political sense hopeless, armies 
which were dangerous to the state, conscious of their power 





and destitute of real patriotism. He had at his side a trusty 
general in Agrippa,* who had won many battles for him, though 
that in itself was generally a dangerous circumstance, and an 
astute diplomat in Maecenas, who for the past ten years had 
been governing Rome in Caesar's name without holding any 
clear official position. But beyond these two it was hard to 
know where to turn for support. The civil wars and proscrip- 
tions had almost destroyed the race of Brutus, but all that was 
left of the aristocracy was still jealous and hostile under a cover 
of abject sycophancy, ready to stab him with their tongues if 
they had not the courage to use the stiletto. Nevertheless, 
Augustus had one great asset. The Roman world, exhausted 
with a whole generation's civil war, was longing for repose. It 
was ready to fall down and worship the man who would give 
it that. Thus the broad outlines of his policy were clear 
before him. He must undertake a work of healing. The fall 
of Julius warned him that he must not be openly a monarch, 
but the failure of Sulla and the actual state of Rome were 
equally eloquent to prove that he must retain the power in his 
own hands. In the lassitude following upon grave illness for 
the dangers and exposure of the civil wars had shattered his 
health he may have cherished occasional thoughts of a real 
abdication. But in his brain he must have known that it was 
impossible. It was, of course, equally impossible for him to 
govern the whole world directly without help. For that pur. 
pose the machinery of the whole constitution with its senate and 
magistracies had to be preserved, at any rate for the present. 
These were the broad lines upon which his policy was shaped. 
The splendour of Caesar's triumph must have confirmed the 
Romans' impression that they had now a king. For three 
days they saw a constant procession of prisoners, emblems of 
captured cities and conquered princes. Some of Cleopatra's 
surviving children were among his train. The three days 
were apportioned to the three continents, the first for the 
Illyrian war of 34, the second for Actium, and the third for 

* Plate 27. 



Egypt. Cartloads of money from the Egyptian treasury rolled 
up the streets, and the bank rate at Rome fell instantly from 
eleven to four. There was one significant change. In old 
republican days the victor had been led into the city by his 
colleague and the senators, now they followed humbly in the 
rear. Lavish triumphal gifts were distributed : about \ i to 
every soldier, and about ^4 to every citizen. Even the boys 
got a present in the name of Caesar's dear young nephew 
Marcellus. Thus Caesar passed in his gold-embroidered purple 
toga, with a laurel branch in his hand, while a slave stood 
behind holding a golden crown of victory over his head. Of 
the horses that drew the chariot one was mounted by the 
fourteen-year-old Marcellus, famous for his early death, and 
for Vergil's beautiful lines about him, and the other by his 
still younger stepson, Tiberius. Thus he was drawn up to the 
Capitol to deposit his laurels and his costly offerings at the feet 
of Jupiter. 

There were festivities on many a day to follow. Temples 

were dedicated, one to the deified Julius and one to Venus, the 

goddess mother of the Julian house. There were games in 

which the foreign captives fought to the death. On another day 

the boys of the nobility fought a Battle of Troy in the circus. 

On another there was a great beast-hunt of strange animals 

from Egypt when the rhinoceros and hippopotamus made their 

first appearance in Europe. And then for the first time for 

nearly two hundred years, that is, for the first time since the 

Punic Wars, the temple of the war-god Janus was solemnly 

closed. L? Empire c'est la paix. There are many signs of the 

earnest longing for Peace in the Roman world. " Pax " and 

" Irene" became common names in the West and East; " Pax" 

was the legend on coins. This was a new thing at Rome. 

Hitherto war had been the desired as well as the normal 

condition. But even the Romans had now drunk their fill of 

bloodshed in those dreary civil wars. It was upon this new 

condition of things that Augustus had the wisdom to build his 

monarchy. The army was greatly reduced at once. Fortu- 



PLATE xxxin 



nately the treasury of Egypt enabled them to be dismissed with- 
out dissatisfaction. The foreign hirelings who had served as a 
bodyguard were replaced by native soldiers. A change in the 
imperatoSs form of address to his troops indicated that they 
were now subject to the civil rule of a constitutional state: 
henceforth they were not "fellow-soldiers" but "soldiers." 

And now the work of reconstruction began in earnest. Act- 
ing merely as one of the two consuls and in obedience to a 
law passed through the senate and comitia, Augustus restored 
the depleted ranks of the patrician order. It is true that the 
patricians had no political privileges but they still had great 
significance in the domain of religion and their restoration as 
the first official act of the new regime marked a deliberate 
desire to conciliate the aristocracy and enlist its services in 
support of order. Then a census of the Roman citizens was 
taken for the first time in forty years. The number found was 
4,063,000 heads, which was to be increased by 170,000 in the 
next twenty years. The census and purification of the people 
was accompanied by a revision of the senate-roll. Here 
Augustus already showed his intention to break away from the 
policy of Julius. Whereas Julius had aroused the most bitter 
resentment by introducing provincials and common soldiers 
into the ranks of the senate, and Antony also had secured the 
appointment of all sorts of disreputable friends of his own, 
Augustus with infinite caution and tact reduced, strengthened, 
and purified the roll. Then since the numbers had been 
reduced and it was necessary to secure a respectable quorum 
for the transaction of business, the senate was induced to pass 
a standing order that its members must not go abroad even to 
the provinces without permission of its president. As Caesar 
was the president it meant a concentration of all the possible 
leaders of opposition at Rome and under his eye. During 
this same year, 28 B.C., the other side of Augustan rule came 
into prominence, the splendid liberality which turned Rome 
from a decaying and ruinous city of brick into a city of marble 
and made this epoch to stand out next to that of Pericles as 



an age of brilliant culture. No fewer than eighty-two temples 
were built or restored in that year. Among the rest a magnifi- 
cent marble temple to Apollo with a public library annexed 
to it was erected on the Palatine. Libraries were new and 
significant things at Rome. The first had been built by Vergil's 
patron Asinius Pollio only nine years earlier. 

The time was now ripe for the all-important settlement of 
the constitution which historians have agreed to call the estab- 
lishment of the Empire. It is important to narrate the actual 
proceedings, at this point, somewhat more minutely than the 
scope of this work generally allows. The establishment of the 
Empire was such a delicate and equivocal act that it has been 
open to various interpretations ever since. Probably in the 
clever brain of Augustus it was intended to be equivocal from 
the first, so that republican aristocrats at Rome might still 
believe themselves to be free, while the populace had a prince 
to whom they might look for their patron, and the provincials, 
particularly those of the orient, might have a splendid monarch 
for their instincts of adulation. 

Towards the close of the year 28 Augustus had issued a 
proclamation formally reversing all the illegal acts of himself 
and his colleagues during the Triumvirate. It would not call 
the dead back to life, it would not restore Cicero to the senate, 
it did not even give back the land to the burghers of those 
eighteen confiscated townships. But it marked contrition, and 
restitution of some sort was to follow. At the beginning of 
his seventh consulship on January 13, 273.0., Caesar convened 
a meeting of the senate and made them a long speech in which 
he spoke with pride of his own and his "deified father's" 
benefactions to the state. At the end, with a true Italian 
instinct for the theatre he turned to the astonished fathers and 
exclaimed: "And now I give back the Republic into your 
keeping. The laws, the troops, the treasury, the provinces 
are all restored to you. May you guard them worthily." Dio 
Cassius, who has given us a long speech certainly of his own 
composition, paints the mingled feelings of the audience, the 
1 68 



indifference of those who were in the secret, the uneasiness of 
those who feared that it was another trap to catch the unwary 
and the joy of those who believed and hoped. The immediate 
reply of the senate was, it appears, to grant him further honours 
the " civic crown " of oak leaves awarded to one who had 
saved the life of a fellow-citizen, in token that Augustus had 
saved the lives of all his countrymen, and laurel-trees to be 
planted at his gate in sign of perpetual victory. * Then they 
conducted a long and solemn debate upon the proper cognomen 
to be conferred upon their saviour and at length decided upon 
the name "Augustus." In these proceedings we have the 
measure of the Augustan senate. Already they had the instinct 
of courtiers. Augustus knew it, and therefore knew what he 
was about in this dramatic "restoration of the Republic." 
Coins of the period bear the legend "Respublica restituta," 
and Ovid, though a courtier, was free to say 

redditaque est omnis populo prouincia nostro 
et tuus Augusto nomine dictus auus. 

Augustus himself records this occurrence in the great inscrip- 
tion, in which he afterwards described his achievements : " In 
my sixth and seventh consulship, when by universal consent I 
had acquired complete dominion over everything both by land 
and sea, I restored the State from my own control into the 
hands of the Senate and People." 

A few sessions later, but still in the beginning of the year 
27, the senate decided upon its real answer, no doubt concocted 
at the suggestion of Augustus. The senate accepted the 
restitution of most of the provinces, and undertook to govern 
them for the future by means of senatorial magistrates very 
much as they had been governed of old. But three provinces 
which were still unsettled, and required soldiers, and money, 
and a general, called for special treatment. Csesar was there- 
fore entreated to take for his province Syria, Gaul, and Spain. 
Gaul was not yet completely organised; besides Julius had 

* See Frontispiece. 


publicly imposed the task of adding Britain to it upon his 
successor. Syria was of the utmost importance, because the 
Parthians were still "riding unavenged" flushed with fresh 
victories over Antony. This was another of the legacies of 
Julius. Spain was still largely unconquered and in great 
disorder. I think, in opposition to Ferrero, that military 
needs were more powerful than economic motives in the 
selection of these provinces. It is to be noted that there was 
no question of the restitution of Egypt. Caesar had never 
completely given this kingdom to the state. He still kept it 
for the sake of its treasures, as a private domain, and governed 
it through an agent, a mere knight, not even a senator. Over 
these three great provinces Augustus received consular 
authority much as Pompeius had received it for the war 
against the pirates for ten years. But at the same time he 
promised to restore these provinces also, as soon as they should 
be completely pacified. The ingenious nature of the whole 
compromise will be manifest when it is perceived that this 
arrangement of provinces left the senate with scarcely a single 
legion under its command, while the bulk of the Roman army 
was concentrated in Caesar's provinces. 

Now let us consider the constitutional position of Augustus 
in these years from 27 to 23, when a slight rearrangement was 
effected. Augustus continued each year to be elected consul 
with a colleague for one year, until he had far outstripped even 
the record of Marius. In addition to this he had " consular 
power" over his enormous province, which included all the 
armies of the state. That power was ostensibly granted for 
ten years, but as a matter of fact it was renewed with some 
ceremony at intervals of ten or five years throughout the 
reign. Constitutionally he was by no means master of the 
world although, of course, he was so in reality. He says 
himself: "I excelled all in prestige, but of authority I had no 
more than my colleagues in each office." For the maintenance 
of his domestic dignity, he had in addition to the consulship 
various privileges of tribunidan authority. His person was 


protected by the sanctity of that office, and it is probable that 
all prosecutions for treason were taken on that point. He was 
also chief priest. He was also president of the senate, princess 
senatus, but that simply meant that his name came first on the 
roll, so that he had the right to speak first. Only when Caesar 
said "aye" it would be a bold man who would say "no." 

For the lawyer this exhausts his titles to power, but in 
reality he was something very much more than consul with 
tribunician powers. The one word that embraces all his 
authority, constitutional and real alike, is the word "princeps." 
"Princeps" is not the title of any office, it merely expresses 
dignity. He is " the chief," he is " Caesar the August, the son 
of the God Julius, ten times hailed as general." It is histori- 
cally misleading to speak of these early principes as " Emperors," 
for that word implies notions of purple and crowns really 
foreign to their position, Any stout republican who chose to 
be deceived could still boast that he was governed by senate 
and comitia, by consuls, praetors, aediles, tribunes, and the rest 
of them. It is even historically false to believe that the senate 
and magistrates had ceased to exist for practical purposes. 
They had, as we shall presently see, a very real function in the 
state, especially when Caesar was abroad, as in the earlier years 
of his rule he constantly was. It was impossible for one man 
to govern the whole empire. Little by little when a complete 
imperial bureaucracy was evolved, the senate really sank into 
insignificance, but for the present Caesar and the senate were 
to some extent colleagues in the government of the empire. 

It is equally unhistorical to assert, as does the foremost of 
living historians in Germany, Dr. Eduard Meyer, that this 
" Restoration " was a genuine abdication, and that Caesar only 
continued to act as the senate's executive officer. Sometimes 
he did act in that capacity, often he made a pretence of so 
acting. Especially when there was anything disagreeable to be 
done, he liked to get it authorised by a decree of the senate. 
But no intelligent Roman can have failed to perceive that there 
was no real equilibrium between Caesar and Senate. Csesar 


had not only the control of nearly all the legions, but at the 
very gate of Rome he had the only troops in Italy, the praetorian 
guard, at his beck and call. Roman generals had always had 
their life-guards. The law forbade the presence of an army at 
Rome, but Caesar had shown his usual ingenuity in circum- 
venting the spirit of the law, while respecting its letter. An 
army meant a legion, and a legion consisted of ten cohorts 
generally of three hundred men each. Very well, Caesar would 
only have nine cohorts. But as each consisted of a thousand 
men, he found himself in command of a force equal to three 
legions in permanent quarters at the gates of Rome. If he 
thus had the men, he had the money too. The senatorial 
provinces were now, thanks to a long regime of senatorial 
governors, mostly the poor ones. Caesar had the enormous 
treasury of Egypt in his pocket, Spain was rich in undeveloped 
mines, and Gaul had great possibilities as yet unexploited. 
Moreover, Augustus had inherited an immense patrimony from 
Julius, and the legacies of admiring friends also increased his 
wealth. Thus it came about that the senatorial treasury 
simply could not exist without help from the imperial purse. 
His private wealth, too, enabled him to keep the Roman mob 
happy with cheap or free corn, public shows, and handsome 
buildings, and to satisfy the troops with lavish bounties. 
There was no real equilibrium. 

On the other hand, Augustus was very careful not to wound 
republican sensibilities. He was himself of a distinctly his- 
torical and antiquarian turn of mind. He never performed 
a function or assumed an office without assuring himself that it 
was not new to the constitution. Thus when he was asked to 
undertake censorial duties he declined the "censorial authority," 
which the senate conferred upon him, but carried out the duties 
by virtue of his power as consul, having assured himself that in 
the olden times consuls had performed the duties of the 
censor. He was also most punctilious in his use of forms. 
We shall see later something of the republican simplicity of 
his mode of life. He never failed, as his "divine father" 





Julius had done, to treat the senate with outward marks of 
respect. Call him a "crafty tyrant" if you will. It is much 
more just to call him a diplomatic reformer engaged in a neces- 
sary work of repair, working it with infinite patience, tact, 
and subtlety, by the most ingenious system of compromises 
known to history. 

In the year 23 B.C. there was a slight and not very impor- 
tant readjustment of the constitutional situation. After his 
return from a troublesome war in Spain, and after a very 
serious illness which had brought him to the brink of death, he 
formally abdicated the consulship, alleging his ill-health as the 
motive. It was, indeed, more than a pretence. The continual 
tenure of the consulship involved a continual series of cere- 
monial duties, which added to the immense burdens of his 
position. But there..were political motives as well. He was 
now in his eleventh consulship, and for a nation of antiquarians 
it was distinctly unpleasant that any man should compile a list 
of this magnitude. Moreover, the consul had to have an 
apparently equal colleague, and there was no longer at Rome 
an unlimited supply of nobles fit to be Caesar's colleagues. 
Besides, it blocked the road to honour, it was difficult to find 
men of consular rank for the consular provinces. More than 
all, it was unnecessary. Therefore in order that he might not 
be molested with reproaches, he retired to his Alban Villa, and 
sent a letter to the senate not only renouncing the consulship, 
but suggesting as his successor a notorious republican, who 
had fought for Brutus against him, and still honoured the 
memory of Brutus as a martyr in the cause of liberty. 

That this was another solemn farce, or rather another deep 
stroke of statecraft, is quite clear. The senate replied by 
offering him the very powers he needed to maintain his real 
position unimpaired. The consular power over the provinces 
was continued without any new enactment as "proconsular." 
He received certain additional powers inherent in the tribunate, 
and henceforth dates his years of rule not by consulships, but 
years of tribunician power. His imperium over the provinces 



was defined as "superior" to that of other magistrates, and 
he received the special right which belonged to the consuls of 
proposing a motion at any meeting of the senate. Practically, 
then, he was relieved of some tiresome duties, his position was 
made to look more republican, and at the same time he had 
increased rather than diminished his authority. 

By this time the principate had taken its permanent form. 
Its powers vary considerably with the varying force of the in- 
dividual emperors, and it tends by mere prescription as well as 
by the development of an administrative hierarchy of officials 
to grow more absolute as the years advance. But consti- 
tutionally very little change was made in the course of the 
next three centuries. It always remained a compromise, and 
something of illegitimacy always clung to it. From time to 
time the senate actually remembered that it was a governing 
council. It had always to be reckoned with. As for the 
comitia of the Populus Romanus, they continued to exist both 
for legislation and elections as long as Augustus was alive. 
But in reality the princeps had taken the place of the people in 
the government of Rome. Tiberius, the next successor of 
Augustus, suppressed the comitia as unnecessary, and though 
once or twice in later times an antiquarian emperor might get 
a plebiscite passed for the sake of old times, the Populus 
Romanus was extinct. It perished without a groan. 

The personality of a monarch had been thrust almost sur- 
reptitiously into the frame of a republican constitution. Skil- 
fully as it had been done, the illegitimacy of the proceedings 
entailed certain awkward consequences. There could be no 
open talk of a succession. Thus when Augustus recovered 
from his grave illness in 23 B.C. he offered to read his will to 
the senate to prove that he had nominated no successor. On 
the contrary, he had formally handed to Piso, the other consul, 
a written statement of the disposition of the forces and the 
moneys in the treasury. That was true enough, but he had 
handed his signet ring, the ring by virtue of which Maecenas 
had governed Rome for ten years, to Agrippa, the man who 




would certainly have taken his place if he had died at that time. 
In reality there is little doubt that in his own mind Augustus 
had planned to make young Marcellus, the brilliant child of 
his beloved sister Octavia, his heir and successor. That this 
ultimate intention was plain to Agrippa when Caesar recovered 
is shown by Agrippa's sulky retirement into private life. 
Although Augustus could not directly or legally nominate a 
successor, he could train a young prince for the succession, 
and in his own lifetime raise him to such a point of honour 
that he would naturally step into the vacant place. The newly 
born Empire had the great good fortune that Augustus, in 
spite of his feeble health, lived to a ripe age and held the 
principate for forty-one years. But it had the misfortune to be 
governed by a sterile race. Not for a hundred years until 
Titus, did a son succeed his father. Augustus had nephews, 
stepchildren, and grandchildren, but he had only one child by 
his three wives, and she was the immoral Julia. All his life 
long he was vexed with tiresome dynastic problems, and each 
youth whom he selected for his successor seemed to be destined 
to a premature death. At the last he was driven sorely against 
his will to nominate his stepson Tiberius. This fact is 
mentioned here because it is surely a vital fact in determining 
the future of the principate. If each of the first half-dozen 
holders of that office had been surrounded by a blooming 
family on the scale of modern royalty, it is very likely that the 
principate would have settled down quietly into a hereditary 
monarchy. As it was, the whole system was upset by continual 
intrigues for the succession, often leading to actual civil war- 
fare. Thus the army and the praetorian guard came to acquire 
its fatal domination over Roman politics. 


For all his moderation Augustus had successfully gathered 
all the strings of policy into his own hands. In his three 
revisions of the senate-list he succeeded in securing a body 
absolutely subservient to his wishes, and the only trouble it 



caused him was by its excess of zeal for his dignity. As a rule 
it merely registered his decrees, conferred honours on the 
kinsmen he delighted to honour, and sometimes shouldered 
the responsibility for an unpopular proposal. It was to some 
extent a safety-valve for the expression of public opinion, but 
the more tyrannical emperors (and Augustus undoubtedly 
became more absolute as his system developed) kept a very 
tight hand upon it. When an embassy came from an indepen- 
dent foreign power, such as Parthia, it went first to a powerful 
senator, just as in republican days to seek a patronus or 
champion. Now that champion was, of course, none other than 
the princeps. By him the ambassadors were introduced to the 
senate, who heard their case and deliberated upon it. As of 
old, they would necessarily entrust the settlement of the matter 
to a commissioner chosen from their own body. Again, the 
commissioner was of course the princeps. The senate some- 
times undertook state impeachments as a high court of justice, 
but now it was only Caesar's enemies whom they impeached, 
and in one case that of the prefect of Egypt they displayed 
an excess of zeal in Caesar's cause which brought down a 
rebuke upon their heads. The senate was used often as a 
medium of publication. Caesar would go down to the house 
and read a speech to them when he intended to reach a wider 
public. When he was abroad, he would send regular reports 
and despatches to them. Caesar, like all Roman magistrates, 
had his consilium or board of advisers. This was now 
organised to consist of so many representative senators, who 
sat in conjunction with the young princes of the imperial house, 
and any other important people whom Caesar might select for 
his privy council. Towards the end, when Augustus grew old 
and infirm, a committee of senators sitting in the palace was 
competent to transact business. But as a rule he was very 
careful to respect the senatorial traditions. Decrees of the 
senate and laws were passed with all the old formalities, but 
now they were all in reality Caesar's laws and Caesar's decrees. 
On the whole, however, we may well believe that the senate's 



decline into impotence was largely its own fault. So far as the 
records show, the Augustan senate never displayed the least 
trace of spirit or, if that is too much to expect, even of initiative 
or efficiency. There was grumbling and a little feeble plotting, 
but if the senate had chosen to take Augustus at his word when- 
ever he spoke of abdication, they might easily have recovered 
real power, though indeed they could not have done without a 
princeps. For one thing the mob would not have suffered 
it. Caesar was, and remained, the patron of the inarticulate 
commons, and that was not only the origin of the principate 
but the main support of its power throughout. When we speak 
of unpopular emperors such as Nero or Domitian we generally 
mean only that they were unpopular with the notables of the 
senate. If they failed to retain the regard of the common 
people and the common soldiers their reigns speedily came to 
an end. Caesar's pretended abdication in 23 B.C. was shortly 
afterwards followed by a famine at Rome and the populace 
besieged the senate-house, threatening it with fire unless fresh 
powers were conferred upon their champion. 

German historians have invented the term Dyarchy to 
describe the balance of power between Caesar and senate. The 
government of Rome had always been to some extent a Dyarchy 
of senate and people as its title shows " Senatus Populusque 
Romanus." In many respects the princeps had taken the place 
of the people. But such a description loses sight of reality. 
You cannot in this whole period show an army set in motion 
by a senatorial governor without authority from Augustus, 
save in the single case of M. Primus when it was instantly 
followed by a prosecution ; nor a single tax imposed, nor a law 
so much as proposed without Caesar's authority, nor a candidate 
elected without his concurrence, nor a treaty made otherwise 
than in accordance with his suggestion. The true relation 
between them is practically that of a monarch and his council. 
Three times Caesar revised the roll of the senate, reducing it 
from over one thousand members to six hundred, and for all 
his tact and ingenuity arousing the fiercest resentment. There 

M 177 


were violent scenes in the house, Augustus wore a shirt of 
mail, and went accompanied by ten stalwart senators. It is 
clear that he was purging the house of his opponents just as 
Cromwell did. On other occasions he would present his 
friends with the amount of property needed to complete their 
qualification for the senate. Thus it is no exaggeration to 
call the senate his council of state. If it is objected that the 
senate still governed rich and important provinces, that is more 
apparent than true. No longer did the governor of a senatorial 
province go out girt with the sword that signifies imperium 
or wearing the military cloak. Now he goes in his toga as 
a mere civilian functionary. That little change must have 
been bitterly galling to the proud aristocracy. Augustus had 
persuaded them to pass an ordinance forbidding them to go 
abroad without his permission. He made them fine their 
members for non-attendence, and it is highly significant that 
it was difficult to keep a quorum of the senate for public 
business. He chose his own order for asking their opinions 
and thus promoted them in honour or degraded them as he 
pleased. It was mainly the poor and unimportant provinces 
which had fallen to their share. Asia was the richest and 
most important, but almost throughout the period there is some 
scion of the imperial house with a general control over the 
affairs of the East. There is an inscription in Cyprus which 
proves that even when that island was under senatorial 
government a proconsul was sent out "by the authority of 
Caesar and a decree of the senate " to restore order. Finally 
by the end of the reign the senate had become so feeble and 
unreal that twenty of its members sitting in Caesar's house 
were able to pass decrees which had the full validity of the 
old sovereign council of Rome. 

These considerations are enough to prove that Monarchy 
is the only term which can properly describe the real nature of 
the new government. Nevertheless, here as elsewhere in this 
system of compromise and half-way houses, we must walk 
warily between two fallacies. The senate is there and will 




always be there. When Constantine made a new Rome he 
made a new senate. As we study the subsequent progress of 
the Empire we shall sometimes find the senate really supreme. 
It chose Galba and Nerva. It dared to depose Maximin. It 
really governed through Tacitus and Probus. It was its con- 
stant aim to get its members declared immune from prosecution 
and sometimes it succeeded ; but more often it served as a 
whipping-stock when Caesar was in a bad temper. Only in 
this sense is there any meaning in the term Dyarchy : if we take 
the whole period of the principate from Augustus to Diocletian 
there is some trace of equilibrium, faint though it be. And we 
must not fall into the error of despising the letter of a constitu- 
tion for the sake of its spirit. Though a king of England 
never refuses a bill in practice, it nevertheless remains impor- 
tant that he may. The letter is always there for reference, if 
not for use, and the spirit is always liable to be brought up for 
trial before it. The practice depends upon personal forces 
which are transitory, the theory is always there awaiting its 


Nevertheless, if it is to the letter of the constitution that one 
appeals, we must not forget the existence of a third element in 
the constitution of Augustus the People. As we have seen, 
the plebiscite and the lex still passed formally through the 
comitia. The plebiscite had of late republican years become 
a weapon of opposition to the senate. Yet even under 
Augustus we can point to a few measures passed in this form. 
None were of much importance one was merely the conferring 
of the new title of "Father of his Country" upon Caesar. 
Another concerned aqueducts. The judicial functions of the 
populus were entirely abrogated by Augustus, and there only 
remained that which, after all, had always been its most im- 
portant function, the elections. Popular election in the comitia 
was still under Augustus, the only path to the senate and the 
magistracies. It is true that the magistracies had all paled 



into insignificance before the new and mighty office of the 
princeps. For this reason, perhaps, Augustus did not deprive 
them of what they regarded not only as an ancient right, but 
still more as a source of income. Here also there might have 
been effective opposition. The populus might have returned 
to office, and so to the senate, a series of champions of freedom. 
But except Egnatius Rufus, there were no such champions. 
The patron of the people, the man whose munificence fed them 
and gave them the shows they lived for, was Caesar. No one 
could bribe against his purse. He had, moreover, two direct 
methods of securing the return of his nominees. In virtue of 
his tribunician powers he had the right to draw up the list 
of candidates, and in the second place it had always been the 
practice for candidates to put forward the names of their 
principal supporters. Augustus in his early days of strict 
deference to constitutional etiquette used to go down to the 
forum and personally canvass for his friends, afterwards, how- 
ever, he reverted to the brusquer methods of Julius, aud merely 
issued a fly-sheet to the electors bearing the names of his 
nominees. Thus the elections became more and more a form, 
and Tiberius transferred them to the senate without arousing 
much opposition. In the whole period of Augustus we have 
only one instance of his failure to pass a law which he desired 
and then it was due to the organised opposition of the knights 
who demanded its rejection publicly in the theatre. 

The equestrian order still remained the stronghold of the 
wealthy bourgeoisie. Owing to their wealth and their want of 
political recognition, they had always been somewhat of a 
danger to the republican constitution. It is typical of the 
skilful statesmanship of Augustus that he saw this and provided 
an honourable outlet for their ambitions as well as utilising 
their services on behalf of the state. He had begun his period 
of rule by putting a mere eques into the seat of the Ptolemies 
as his prefect of Egypt. Subsequently the imperial legates and 
procurators who administered the imperial provinces for him 
were often chosen from this order. In finance he made great 
1 80 




use of them, and along with a certain number of clever Greek 
freedmen they filled the greater part of the new bureaucracy 
which he gradually created. Maecenas himself, who was 
probably at the head of the whole great system, and who acted 
almost as prime minister to Augustus until he fell out of 
favour, was content with equestrian rank. Social honours such 
as rich men love were freely bestowed upon them. The young 
princes of the imperial house rode at the head of the knights 
with silver lances as "Princes of the Youth." Sometimes 
Augustus treated the equestrian order as if it were a third limb 
of the constitution on an equality with the senate and people. 

Thus it was part of the system of Augustus to provide 
careers for talent in every class. Even the slaves and freedmen 
had immense opportunities in Caesar's bureaux. For the freed- 
men in the country towns, where they were often the richest 
inhabitants, he invented the special titular distinction of 
"Augustals," their principal duty being to give dinners and 
festivals in his honour, precisely the sort of duty to flatter their 
pride without doing any harm. 

As for the ancient magistracies of the Roman people, while 
they were strictly preserved, they were utterly disarmed. 
Consulships remain important only as leading to a subsequent 
proconsulship over a province. The praetors still sat in their 
courts of justice but really important cases came up to Caesar 
on appeal. The tribunes were of no account beside their mighty 
colleague. Magistracies were bestowed as marks of imperial 
favour. Often there would be two or three successive consuls 
in a single year. Caesar himself would sometimes deign to 
take a consulship when he wished to honour a colleague or a 
relative. Here again, however, the impotence of the magistracies 
was very largely due to the intellectual bankruptcy of the 
Roman nobility. They could not perform the simplest task 
such as the charge of the corn-supply without bungling and 
requiring the assistance of Caesar. But on one occasion when 
a certain eedile organised a fire-brigade of his own and became 
very zealous in extinguishing fires, he received a hint that his 



zeal was unwelcome in the highest quarters. Thus the 
magistracies declined little by little into mere decorations, or 
became once more what they had been in the beginning, muni- 
cipal officers for the city of Rome. But even there they were 
superseded by the organising activity of the princeps. He 
resuscitated the ancient office of city prefect and put him in 
charge of the new police and the new fire-brigade while two 
other new prefects commanded the praetorian guards. These 
two officers soon began to overshadow the old magistracies. 


Dio Cassius rightly asserts that the real power of Augustus 
rested upon two things the control of the army and of 
the finances. We have already seen that in the so-called 
abdications of Augustus there was no surrender of these 
and no suggestion of their surrender. In view of the 
present tendency among historians to attach real importance to 
the restoration of the Republic in 27 B.C. and again in 23 B.C. it 
is all the more important to remember that the twenty-three 
legions which with their auxiliaries and reserves formed the 
entire military force of the Roman Empire took their oath 
solely to Augustus and were with one exception stationed 
exclusively in his provinces, fought under his auspices and 
took their orders from no other but Caesar and his legates. 
Beyond these he had a praetorian corps of 9000 men in per- 
manent cantonments within striking distance of Rome, as well 
as a drilled bodyguard of slaves in his own house. In view of 
these facts it is absurd to limit our conception of the power of 
Caesar to a survey of the constitutional offices which he held. 
It is only in the language of lawyers and pedants that his 
authority rested upon consular and tribunician powers. Every- 
body knew that a letter sealed with Caesar's sphinx was backed 
by the swords of 140,000 legionaries. The military situation 
of Augustus is therefore of the utmost importance. 

Augustus was, as we have seen, a statesman and not a 
soldier. The stories of his cowardice, repeated by Suetonius, 



Manscll & Co. 


are confessedly drawn from the venomous letters of his enemy, 
Antony. Augustus had emerged successfully through five civil 
wars, had crossed tempestuous seas in small boats, had faced 
mutinous armies and every sort of hardship. But all his 
instincts were for peace and statecraft. We have seen that it 
was the need of a standing army at Rome which led to the 
need of permanent generals, and this to the downfall of the 
old Roman constitution. When Caesar built his throne on the 
ruins of the Republic the plain fact was that the general had 
become monarch. Thus, in spite of the fact that Augustus 
was not of a military character, and in spite of all his efforts to 
prevent it, the monarchy of the Roman Empire was eventually 
revealed as a military despotism. It was the irony of fate 
that such a man as Augustus should have founded such a 

But for the present the ugly fact that the army had bestowed 
the purple was decently concealed. Augustus from the very 
beginning of his power did his best to reduce the military 
element in the state. During the civil wars, and indeed for 
fifty years before they began, the troops had made and un- 
made consuls, there had been constant mutinies and blackmail 
in the army. Caesar's own first consulship had been obtained 
in this way. A centurion had marched into the senate-house 
and cried, "If you will not make him consul, this" and he 
tapped the hilt of his sword " this shall." But now the older 
discipline was revived. Agrippa in particular was a stern 
disciplinarian of the old school. The soldiers were flattered 
no longer. No more legionary coins were issued. For an 
honour a legion was allowed to call itself Augusta, for a 
punishment the title was revoked. The highest military 
distinction, the triumph, was gradually reserved for the princeps 
and the members of his house alone. Even when the title of 
Imperator was earned by a victorious general it was trans- 
ferred to him. But it was his aim to see that no private 
citizen should have the opportunity of securing the high 
military honours. Agrippa might have been dangerous and 



accordingly he was brought into the family by marriage with 
Caesar's daughter. But for the rest the conduct of important 
operations was almost always confided to one of the young 
princes to Tiberius, or Drusus, or Germanicus. And they 
were always victorious. When Quintilius Varus, a general 
of humbler birth, was allowed to lead a great army he con- 
veniently pointed the moral by a signal failure. No senatorial 
governor might now levy troops or declare war on his own 

The only hand that the senate still had in military affairs 
was that a "senatus consultum " was generally asked for a new 
levy of troops. This was probably because it concerned the state 
treasury, but partly also because it served to shift an unpleasant 
responsibility off the shoulders of the princeps. It is not likely 
that Augustus had forgone the right to levy. 

It still remained the legal duty of every Roman citizen to 
serve in the army. But since the days of Marius that duty had 
become obsolete, no one wanted the city riff-raff in the legions. 
Soldiering had become a profession, and there was never now 
any general levy of the kind involved in modern conscription. 
There must have been some compulsion upon the upper classes 
to serve as officers, for Suetonius tells of a Roman knight who 
was sold into slavery because he had chopped off his son's 
thumbs in order to evade military service. There had been a 
" City Legion " fighting at Actium, but the army was now 
mainly recruited from Italy and the imperial provinces. Allied 
princes like Herod the Great had their own militias, but were 
also liable to be asked for contributions of trained auxiliaries 
to the imperial army. From the provinces troops were demanded 
in proportion to their warlike activity. The Dutch horsemen 
were famous, and the Batavians supplied large contributions of 
cavalry. The only people in the East who were enrolled in 
the legions were the Galatians, who were, of course, Gauls by 
ancestry. Augustus himself had a bodyguard of German 
slaves. As a rule only freemen were enrolled in the legions, 
but at the crisis of the great Pannonian and German revolts, 




-*"" '- ' f 

. \ 


'.<</ '/dflMK i iw wfltMn ww nw n TO 7 w 'i TO At v V 4< : / _ _. 

; . 





the duty was laid upon rich citizens of equipping and maintain- 
ing for six months a certain number of freedmen and slaves 
who were promised their liberty and citizenship at the end of 
six months. These would probably consist very largely of 
gladiators. This fact is evidence of serious military weakness 
in the Roman Empire. Although there were over four million 
full Roman citizens, there were only about 140,000 men in the 
ranks of the legions, and as there was a very long period of 
service, twenty-five years and more, it follows that only a 
small number of recruits would be wanted every year. It 
seems a dangerously small army to hold such vast frontiers. 

Augustus was successful in reducing the enormous rate of 
pay which had prevailed during the civil wars. After the 
death of Augustus the troops mutinied and demanded an 
increase of their pay to a denarius (less than a franc) a day. 
Augustus established a special military chest to provide 
pensions for his veterans in place of the farms which they were 
still accustomed to expect. 

How greatly how dangerously Augustus had reduced 
the size of the army may be seen from the fact that there were 
at least fifty legions during the civil wars, and only twenty-five 
at the death of Augustus. These troops were for the most 
part stationed along the northern and eastern frontiers. 

In Spain 3 legions 

Lower Germany 4 

Upper Germany 4 

Pannonia 3 

Dalmatia 2 

Mcesia 2 

Syria 3 

Egypt 3 

Africa I 

To these must be added the 9000 men of the praetorian guard, 
who enjoyed shorter service (sixteen years) and double pay. 
The praetorians had to be genuine Italians, and when inside the 
walls of Rome wore civilian dress. There were also three 



" urban cohorts " as police a new and most salutary invention 
and a "cohort of watchmen" for the prevention of fire. 
Obviously with a service of twenty-five years there could be 
no reserve. But some of the veterans of the praetorian guard 
were used as paymasters or engineers. There were also colonies 
of time-expired soldiers planted as garrisons in dangerous 

The legions themselves were stationed in great fortified 
camps along the frontiers of their various provinces. There 
were thus huge spaces of country totally without military forces. 
For warfare on the shores of the Black Sea troops had to be 
summoned from Syria. There was no such thing as a readily 
mobilised striking force in Italy. This was an inconvenience 
and a danger, but Augustus did not mean to organise a 
military monarchy. Professor Gardthausen has a clever com- 
parison of the problems before the Roman army with those 
that face the British Empire. The problems were remarkably 
similar, for greater speed of transport counteracts the greater 
distances. Both peoples made great use of the system of 
drilling native troops and expecting provinces to guard them- 
selves. But the Romans would have been saved much trouble 
if they had been able to adopt our system of a compact and 
highly trained expeditionary force backed by a citizen army for 
home defence. To be sure, the Romans now lived in a state 
of peace far more profound than any that the world has en- 
joyed before or since. Their wars were of their own making. 
Within the circle of the armed frontiers Pax Romana reigned 
supreme. The Roman citizens hung up their swords for 

The creation of a standing fleet was not the least of Caesar's 
achievements. The Mediterranean was now properly policed 
and commerce was free to circulate. The Italian navy was 
divided into two flotillas, one for the Western Mediterranean 
and one for the Adriatic. Great artificial docks were con- 
structed for them, one for the Mediterranean fleet at Misenum 
by opening up a connection between the Avernian and Lucrine 
1 86 


lakes and the sea and thus creating a small land-locked harbour 
which was used for exercising the rowers in rough weather. 
The construction of this Portus Julius, which was carried out 
by Agrippa with a lofty disregard both of the gastronomic fame 
of the Lucrine oysters and of the mythological celebrity of the 
lake of Avernus as the gateway to the underworld, excited a 
wonder which has been reflected both by Horace and Vergil. 

Similarly a base for the Adriatic fleet was constructed by 
great engineering works at Ravenna. A third harbour was 
created on the coast of Gaul at Frejus (Forum Julii). The 
Tiber was dredged and restored to navigation. Flotillas of 
small vessels were maintained on the Rhine. 

The navy, however, did not even in these days attain to 
anything like the status of the army. It was " my fleet " the 
private property of the emperor, equipped and maintained out 
of his own pocket, and manned chiefly by his slaves. Even 
the "prefects of the fleet" were generally freedmen and 
foreigners. A Roman admiral, as Mommsen remarks, ranked 
below a procurator or a tax-collecter. Thus the Romans never 
to the end of their days realised the meaning or importance of 
sea-power. Their navy was only for police work and on several 
occasions, as for example in the Dalmatian War, they failed to 
perceive that naval operations might have been of the greatest 
assistance to their army. It is true that there were no hostile 
navies in the world, but the empire was so distributed that 
marine communication might have been of very great value. 

The control of finance was a necessary corollary to the control 
of the troops. The Republic had been shipwrecked on finance 
almost as much as on the military system, and there is some 
truth in Mommsen's epigram: "the Romans had bartered 
their liberty for the corn-ships of Egypt." Perhaps the most 
sinister light in which we can regard the statesmanship of 
Augustus is that suggested by Tacitus. He was buying the 
support of all classes in the state systematically. But to that 
the Republic had already accustomed them. 

We must clear our minds o f the modern idea of a budget 


and a coherent public system of finance. The Romans had 
never paid taxes and their financial administration had rested 
in the hands of young men just beginning their public career as 
quzestors. This was because finance was a comparatively recent 
idea at Rome. It was not part of the mos maiorum at Rome 
to have a financial policy, and Rome had always been a military 
and not a commercial state. Even now it was a cheap empire. 
If we except the corn-supply, the pay of the army was the only 
large head of expenditure. On the whole, one with another, 
the provinces were more than self-supporting, and as time went 
on a prudent policy of development made them extremely 
profitable. As we shall see later, the encouragement of natural 
resources and the exploitation of minerals all over the Empire 
added enormously to the Roman wealth. Officials and magis- 
trates had generally been expected not only to give their 
services for nothing but even to pay for their honours hand- 
somely with public works and entertainments. Public works 
undertaken by the state were generally carried out by slaves 
or soldiers. When marble was needed it was usually requisi- 
tioned from Greece or Numidia. But it was inevitable that 
the man who controlled the army should also possess the 
revenues. Julius Caesar had simply appropriated the treasury. 
Augustus as usual reached the same end by a more devious 

The enormous treasures which he disbursed were his 
favourite weapons of statecraft. If he had a friend to get into 
the senate he would simply make him a present of the necessary 
income. To retain the goodwill of the commons he scattered 
those immense largesses which he has recorded on the Ancyran 
monument. To the Roman plebs he distributed over six 
millions sterling in eight donations. On another occasion of 
financial stress he lent more than half a million without interest. 
When the soldiers had to be rewarded after Actium he was able 
to save himself from the unpopular necessity of confiscation by 
finding six millions in cash to buy them land. There was 
scarcely a town in the empire which had not some splendid 






building to bear witness of its debt to Caesar's generosity, and 
we shall see how he transformed the whole aspect of the 
metropolis. In addition to all this he often replenished the 
state treasury out of his own pocket. Over a million and a 
half was thus transferred. No wonder that a man who could 
thus pour his gold into the treasury should come to regard it 
as his own. 

To the Roman mind it was unbecoming to a free gentleman 
to be asked to pay taxes in a free country. They held that 
a tributum was only for slaves to pay. Moreover it was one 
of the limitations of the power of Augustus that he had no 
constitutional right to impose taxation on Italy. Twice indeed 
he proposed to inflict a property-tax on Roman citizens. In 
A.D. 4 and 13 he took a census of all properties above ^"2000 
as a preliminary measure, but on the second occasion at least 
it is explained by the historian as a shrewd stroke of diplomacy 
to make people acquiesce in the existing death-duties. The 
serious financial embarrassment of these years was caused by 
the expense of the gratuities paid to time-expired soldiers. The 
soldier's daily pay of about sixpence was only pocket-money, 
he had always expected a farm on his discharge. Under 
Augustus this allowance of land was commuted for a bounty 
of about ^125 for the legionary, or ^185 for the praetorian 
guard. Of course, with a service of over twenty years and 
constant fighting, the number of veterans discharged each year 
must have fallen considerably below the 20,000 recruits en- 
rolled, but still it was a heavy expense. In some cases the 
veterans were retained under the colours and in some cases 
land in new countries was still given. But this burden led to 
the establishment of a new military chest in A.D. 6. This was 
filled in the first instance by a donation of nearly two 
millions from Augustus and Tiberius, but it was maintained by 
two indirect taxes which fell upon the Roman citizens very 
much to their annoyance. One was a tax of one per cent, on 
all objects bought and sold, the other a five per cent, tax on 
legacies. The latter was not imposed purely for revenue. It 



was intended, along with other laws, to discourage celibacy, 
since it only fell upon those who died without heirs of kin. 
What appears to be a distinct tax is another upon the sale of 

The other large head of expenditure was that of the Roman 
corn-supply. Two hundred thousand people received free corn 
and the rest of the citizens always expected to buy it very cheaply. 
Most of this corn came from Egypt and Sicily as taxation paid 
in kind. The control of the supply was in the hands of a new 
department, 'euro, annonce, but owing to its mismanagement 
there were several periods of famine, on which occasions either 
Augustus himself or some member of his family had to step in 
and put things straight. 

The general expenses of administering the Empire were 
not as great as modern analogies would lead us to suppose. 
No doubt the imperial legates and procurators received wages 
out of the imperial fiscus. It is commonly stated that all 
provincial magistrates now received a fixed salary instead of 
being left to plunder the provincials. The truth is that the 
higher magistrates of Rome never had received and did not 
for a long time yet receive a salary. But they had always 
claimed an allowance for their travelling expenses technically 
called " mule and tent money," and this had been fixed on a 
generous scale which really amounted in practice to a salary. 
The only change was that instead of allowing these fees to 
be subject to contract on the regular contract system of the 
republican treasury, the governors now received a fixed grant 
calculated according to the necessary scale of expenses in the 
various provinces. For the provinces an immense saving was 
effected in this manner but it must have been more expensive 
to the central treasury. 

The finances of the provinces were gradually brought into 
order and arranged with consummate skill. The little informa- 
tion that we possess tends to show that nowhere was the 
Augustan reformation more beneficent or more brilliantly 
successful. In Gaul the land-tax and property-tax were fixed 



in 26 on a fairly high scale, it is true, but the development of 
commerce and agriculture fostered by the Romans made their 
incidence a light burden in comparison with the rapidly in- 
creasing wealth of the province. By this time the state had 
accepted the theory of tribute which the Roman lawyers had 
developed upon false principles. Tribute was now regarded, 
not as a commutation of the liability to military service, which 
was its real origin, but as a rent paid to Rome for the continued 
enjoyment of lands which had passed to her by right of con- 
quest. The tribute was everywhere reassessed upon a new 
valuation systematically conducted. Generally it represented 
a tithe of the corn harvest and 20 per cent.'of liquid products, 
such as oil and wine. In the senatorial provinces the old 
system of tax-farming by contractors survived for a time, but 
in his own provinces Augustus instituted an imperial board of 
revenue administered by Roman knights or Greek slaves and 
freedmen as his fiscal procurators. We have, indeed, three 
known cases of embezzlement by native agents. One, Eros, 
had advertised his insolent rapacity in Egypt by purchasing a 
celebrated fighting quail for an immense sum of money, and 
then cooking it for his dinner. Another, Licinius, a native 
Gaul set to collect taxes in his own country, disarmed Caesar's 
wrath like the servant in the parable by showing rooms full of 
silver and gold, which he professed to have stored up in his 
master's interest. In this case it is zealous extortion which is 
charged against him. One of his methods was to extort 
fourteen months' taxes in the year by pointing out to the inno- 
cent natives that since December was by its very name the 
tenth month, they had two more monthly contributions to pay 
before the end of the year. A paymaster, also a slave, who 
died inTiberius's reign, was notorious for the retinue of fourteen 
persons who attended him on his travels. He had his private 
cooks and physicians. But these are isolated cases. On the 
whole it is clear that the provinces were rejoicing at their 
deliverance from the oppression of the Republic. They were 
always anxious to be transferred from the senate to Csesar. If 



the tax-gatherer was still at their door, he was now a man under 
independent authority with a master who would listen to petitions 
and appeals. Moreover, they now had a government which 
assisted them to pay by intelligently developing their resources. 

The public treasury of the senate was no longer entrusted 
to mere quaestors. Augustus at first instituted prefects for 
this also. But the dearth of administrative capacity at Rome 
compelled him to transfer the charge to the praetors. How- 
ever, he kept an eye upon its administration himself, as is shown 
by the fact that when he died he left to the state an account of 
the condition of the treasury. 

It is still too early to speak of a definite system of division 
between the public "aerarium" and the emperor's private 
"fiscus." But the budget of the senate would include: 


5% legacy duty. 

2% or 4% duty on sale of slaves. 

i% on merchandise. 

Customs and harbour dues. 

Confiscations from state offenders. 

Intestate estates. 

Public lands. 

Provincial tribute. 

State mines and works. 

Mintage of copper. 

The budget of the fiscus would include : 


Army and police. 




Fire brigade. 



Tribute of Caesar's provinces, 
especially Egypt and Gaul. 

Legacies (,15,000,000 in the last 
twenty years). 

Private domains. 

Family inheritance. 

Aurum coronarium (a complimen- 
tary gift on accession). 

Private mines and works. 

Mintage of silver and gold. 


Provincial adminis- 
tration and 

Largess and bounties. 

Temples and public 

Loans and gifts. 

The fleets. 

Games and shows. 







Turning now to a rapid survey of the Roman world from a 
geographical point of view we shall see the work of restoration 
and repair, proceeding with the same methodical thoroughness 
which makes this regime one of the most beneficent in the 
history of civilisation. We have already seen something of 
the provincial system as it was reorganised in 27 B.C. The 
provinces which fell to the share of the senate were these : 



Gallia Narbonensis (transferred to the senate in 22 B.C.) 

Hispania Bcztica. 

Crete with the Cyrenaica. 

Macedonia with Achaia. 

Bithynia with Pontus. 

Cyprus (also transferred to the senate in 22 B.C.). 

Dalmatia (until the revolt of 1 1 B.C.). 

Sardinia with Corsica. 


These were governed by annual magistrates, chosen by lot 
from a list selected by the senate the first two by proconsuls 
of consular rank, the others also by governors termed pro- 
consuls but actually only of praetorian rank, that is, ex-praetors. 
Africa was the only one of these provinces which contained 
troops and the senatorial governors went out in civilian dress 
as administrators only. Caesar's provinces were : 



Syria with Cilicia and, until 22 B.C., Cyprus. 

To these were gradually added : 


Illyricum, including Dalmatia and Pannonia. 
Galatia, including Lycaonia, Pamphylia, Pisidia, and part 
of Cilicia, with Paphlagonia added in 5 B.C. 

These were all governed by le-jates of Caesar, commonly 

N 193 


chosen from the ranks of the senate, with the title of pro- 
praetor. They held office for as long as Caesar desired, and 
were provided with a staff, chosen by him, of trained financiers. 
In addition to these, other districts under prefects were gradually 

accumulated : 


Mcesia and Triballia. 
Alpes Cottice. 
Alpes Maritimce. 

And others again under procurators : 

Judtea (after A.D. 6). 



Further, there were a large number of "allied" or "client" 
kingdoms and republics : 

Thrace. Abitene. 

Pontus with Bosphorus. Emesa. 

Judaea (till A.D. 6). Galilaea and Peraea. 

Commagene. Nabataea. 

Cappadocia. Batanaea. 

Armenia. Mauretania. 


And the allied states : 


Athens, Sparta, Rhodes, and other 
Greek cities. 

In his own provinces Caesar was supreme in all things ; he had 
the right of making peace, war, and alliance, without consult- 
ing the senate. Though he governed through legates or pro- 
curators, the Roman law had always granted a right of appeal 
from a lower magistrate to his superior. This was the source 
of Paul's "appeal unto Caesar" from the procurator of Judaea. 
In the senatorial provinces his imperium, which had been 
specially defined as "superior" (mams), gave him precedence 
when he was actually present. And we have many cases of his 


interference in senatorial provinces. Caesar's legates, such as 
Agrippa, Tiberius, and Gaius, constantly act as overlords in 
Asia, though a decree of the senate is required for this. We 
hear of Augustus founding colonies in Sicily. Moreover, the 
princeps had sole authority over the army, and for any military 
operations it would be necessary to borrow troops of him. 

The foundations of this great empire were not hastily or 
carelessly laid. Although of feeble constitution and by nature 
a man of peace, Augustus spent the first half of his long reign 
more abroad than at home, in fighting rebels and organising 
or reforming with unwearied energy. To this part of his 
work we are unable to devote sufficient attention through lack 
of material. The ancient historians prefer to record small 
victories over barbarian tribes, or the petty gossip of the 
Roman streets, while they have little to say about the tireless 
administration which in one generation transformed the Roman 
world from a horrible chaos into that scene of peace and 
prosperity shown to us in the pages of Strabo and Pliny. So 
while our eyes are fixed upon the sins and follies of Roman 
emperors and courtiers, until we get an impression of rotten 
tyranny conducted according to the caprice of monsters and 
fools, all the time the greater part of Europe was advancing in 
peace to a state of general culture and civilisation such as it 
had never known before, and such as it never knew again until 
the nineteenth century. A casual glance over the inscriptions 
of a provincial town probably gives us a truer impression than 
all the rhetoric of the historians. In Pompeii, for example, a 
small and unimportant suburb of Naples which scarcely comes 
into the view of history, we see a busy and useful municipal 
life carried on in absolute security. There were the ten 
councillors (decuriones), who corresponded to the Roman 
senate, and there were two local consuls bearing the title 
of "duumviri." In most cases a small municipality would 
have its "patronus" also, a local squire, perhaps, who in 
some measure corresponded to the princeps, and who would 
represent the interests of the town at Rome, or with the Roman 



praetor. His main business, however, was to equip his town 
with baths, temples, and colonnades, or to provide it with 
public banquets. For the rich freedmen, in whose hands was 
much of the trade of the place, Augustus had provided the new 
office of Seviri Aiigustales, which we have already described. 
There were no rates, for private munificence took their place. 
There was no direct taxation in Italy, and the indirect taxes 
were inconsiderable. Internal trade was free. The obligation 
to military service was so widely distributed that it fell very 
lightly on Italy, and the natives accordingly became less and 
less warlike. All the Italian peoples were now Roman citizens. 
Trade was greatly assisted by the improvement of communica- 
tions which took place during this period. The care of roads 
properly devolved upon the senate, but as they showed their 
usual incompetence in this department the princeps had to step 
in and organise a special Board of Roads with a curator for 
each of the trunk lines of communication. Augustus also 
established an imperial post with a system of stages and relays, 
which lasted on until the coming of railways. The vehicles 
and horses were maintained by the roadside communities, and 
imperial messengers who carried a diploma or passport were 
allowed to travel express by this means. The great road to 
Rimini, the Flaminian Way, was the first to be repaired, and 
Augustus adorned its terminal city with a handsome marble 
bridge* and triumphal arch, possibly as a compensation for the 
trouble which he himself had inflicted upon the town during 
the civil wars. Flourishing historic cities like Turin and 
Brescia owe their origin to colonies founded by Augustus. 
Towns like Perugia which had been almost destroyed in the 
civil wars now grew up again and flourished. In all, Augustus 
founded twenty-eight colonies in Italy, and supplied 90,000 
veterans of the civil wars with land which he had bought and 
paid for. That the sea was now safe for trade and fishery 
must have meant a great deal to the coast towns. Augustus 
himself wrote an account of the condition of Italy, arid Pliny 

* Plate 28, Fig. i. 




confesses to using it as his authority. In all the long and 
important history of Italy it is doubtful whether she has ever 
enjoyed such peace and prosperity as began for her in the 
reign of Augustus. 

A broad view of foreign politics showed Augustus two 
vital points of danger the North and East. To the 
north the fierce and warlike barbarians of Germany had been 
checked indeed by Julius, but also exasperated. Tribes 
more or less akin to them extended southwards across the 
Danube and even to the Austrian Tyrol, where they were little 
more than a week's march from the gates of Rome. A strong 
frontier policy was needed here. In the East there were the 
Parthians, the only possible rival power to Rome. The Romans 
at Carrhae noticed that while the chiefs wore their hair parted 
and curled and their faces painted in the Persian fashion, the 
warriors had the unkempt locks of barbarian Thrace. It is 
likely enough that these Parthian bowmen had come in round 
the shores of the Black Sea from Thrace or South Russia. 
They had all the characteristics of northern nomads, but their 
kings had a good deal of Hellenic culture. They could boast 
of a choice collection of Roman eagles captured not only from 
Crassus at Carrhae, but from two armies sent against them by 
Antony. Thousands of Roman prisoners were still working 
as slaves on the banks of the Euphrates. The task of punish- 
ing them had been definitely laid upon Augustus as a legacy 
from Julius, who had been slain at the moment when he was 
about to undertake it himself. Moreover, the Romans felt the 
loss of those standards very acutely, and not the least motive 
for their acquiescence in monarchy had been the hope that a 
monarch would retrieve their honour in this quarter. The 
earlier poems of Horace constantly express hopes of vengeance. 

The manner in which Augustus satisfied these ardent 
aspirations of national pride is characteristic of him. Instead 
of the armies and bloody battles which historians demand of 
their favourites, Augustus achieved his object by luck and 
strategy. When he was organising the affairs of the East in 



29 B.C., after the conquest of Egypt, he had left the Parthian 
question unsolved. For this, Mommsen takes him to task, but 
there is little doubt that it would have been folly to undertake 
a great and perilous war at that moment while the affairs of 
Rome were still in disorder. Moreover the attitude of the 
army compelled him to return home. Instead of fighting, he 
was content to set up rival powers on the Parthian frontier. 
The Parthians hated their king Phraates and there was a de- 
posed rival in the field, Tiridates, to whom Augustus now gave 
shelter in the province of Syria, hoping, as indeed happened, 
that his presence in the neighbourhood would keep Phraates 
civil. At the same time Augustus set up a buffer kingdom of 
Lesser Armenia on the Parthian border and in the south 
strengthened and reinstated Herod the Great. Four or five 
legions were left to guard Syria. 

In 23 B.C. it chanced that Tiridates had managed to kidnap 
the child of Phraates and was keeping him in custody in the 
Roman province. It is significant of the changed relations 
between Parthia and Rome that, instead of marching into Syria 
to recover the child, Phraates sent an embassy to Rome, whither 
also Tiridates came in person. Of course the senate made the 
restoration of the child conditional upon the return of the 
standards and prisoners. Phraates consented, but there was 
some delay in carrying out the contract and this may have 
been secretly arranged to enable Augustus to conduct the affair 
in a more striking fashion. Augustus marched out with an 
army and at his mere approach the standards and captives were 
given up with due formalities. It was really a Roman triumph, 
almost as great as if it had been attained by bloodshed, for all 
the world could see the humiliation of Parthia. Augustus, that 
astute tactician, took care that the event should not be allowed 
to lose its impressiveness for the mere lack of bloodshed. The 
return of the standards was treated as a Roman triumph. They 
were placed with every solemnity in the temple of Mars the 
Avenger. Coins were struck representing the suppliant 
Parthian on his knees and the same scene is depicted in relief 







on the centre of Caesar's breastplate on the famous statue. The 
poets broke out into dutiful paeans. 

unc petit Armenius pacem, nunc porrigit 
Parthus eques timida captaque signa mi 

cries Ovid. Vergil, after his manner, speaks of the Euphrates 
flowing more quietly in future. The odes of Horace and the 
elegies of Propertius contain similar loyal allu- 
sions. Ferrero, who regards Augustus as a 
feeble trickster just as he regards Julius as a 
shabby adventurer, has nothing but contempt 
for this episode. But seeing that the Parthians 
were now utterly weakened by their internal feuds 
and quite submissive to Rome it would have theltandards 
been folly to embark upon their conquest. That 
they gave much trouble in the future is true enough, but that 
might fairly be left for the future to deal with. Extermination 
might have quieted them for ever, but Augustus had really no 
excuse for making war upon them. 

On the same visit to the East a still more elaborate system 
of buffer states forming a double semicircle round Parthia was 
organised. Armenia yielded to Rome and received at the hands 
of Tiberius a new king who had been educated at Rome. 
Augustus himself explains that although he might have made 
Armenia into a Roman province he preferred to follow the 
example of "our ancestors" and give the crown to a native 
king. Augustus never pretended to be a world-conqueror. 
Similarly Media Atropatene received a new king of Roman 
education, so did Commagene and Emesa. These formed the 
outer ring of buffer states. 

The central state behind them was Galatia, an arid highland 
district inhabited by the descendants of those Gauls who had 
burst into the Greek world under Brennus. Though they 
had acquired some tincture of Greek civilisation and had a 
capital of some importance at Ancyra, they still spoke the 



Gaulish language and were still a warlike race. For these 
reasons, on the death of their king, Augustus preferred to 
turn their country into a province. To the north was the very 
friendly kingdom of Polemo in Pontus, and to the south other 
friendly princedoms as well as the Roman provinces of Cilicia, 
Syria, and Cyprus. 

For all this elaborate bulwark, the Parthian question was 
not really settled. They continued to exercise an undue 
influence in Armenia, and in A.D. i there was another solemn 
mission to the East and a conference between Phraates the 
Parthian king and Gaius the grandson of Augustus. Once 
more the Parthian professed submission, and once more the 
court poets struck their obsequious lyres. When Phraates 
died, his uncle Orodes who succeeded ruled with such cruelty 
that he was assassinated. Thereupon the Parthians sent to 
Rome for a king and Augustus gave them a nephew of the 
murdered tyrant, a youth also of Roman education. We note 
this proceeding as common in the foreign policy of Augustus. 
He must have had something like a school for young barbarian 
princes at Rome, but whether the lessons that they learnt in 
Roman society were altogether salutary is doubtful. 

Behind this wall the great provinces of Asia, Syria, and 
Bithynia were wrapped in profound security. Here Greek 
culture continued to flourish with periodical incursions of 
oriental religion and philosophy. In every considerable town 
the Jews formed a great and growing section of the population 
but even they were half Greek in their ways of life. The 
country was rich and lazy and utterly unwarlike. Civilisation 
had risen to a high pitch and it was probably this part of the 
world which sent to Rome those artists who contributed to the 
revival of sculpture. Pretty little epigrams in Greek elegiacs 
seem to have been their principal literary accomplishment. 
These provinces have very little history happily for them 
at this period. We know them best from the Acts of the 
Apostles, where we get a glimpse of their superstitions, their 
eagerness to embrace new religions. We see the fanaticism of 



Ephesus with its magnificent temple of Diana and stately 
worship, a religion of oriental character overlaid with Greek 
culture, and only rivalled in its attractions by the Roman 
amphitheatre. For these people as for the rest of the world 
Augustus had his policy. Since worship was their instructive 
need and Euhemerism had accustomed them to worship men, 
he set up an elaborate cult of himself, or rather, by a subtle 
distinction without a difference, a cult of "the genius of 
Augustus." Temples were built to "Rome and Augustus" 
and an elaborate hierarchy of "High Priests," "Asiarchs," and 
" Bithyniarchs," which became the highest social distinctions 
in the society of the day. This was his method of securing 
the allegiance of nations devoted to religion and flattery. 
Here in the near future was to be the field of that momentous 
conflict between this State religion and Christianity, with other 
oriental faiths, such as Mithraism, also claiming their proselytes. 
As for old Greece, the Romans never denied their spiritual 
debt to her, and accordingly they regarded Greece with some- 
thing of the veneration which a man feels for his university. 
Augustus himself had been educated at Apollonia, he sent his 
heirs to various Greek cities for their education. It would 
have seemed sacrilege to educated Romans to put a legate in 
charge of Athens. Hence we find Greece enjoying quite an 
exceptional position in the empire, indeed without exception 
the freest and most favoured part of it. Towns such as Athens, 
Lacedsemon, Thespiae, Tanagra, Platsea, Delphi, and Olympia 
were free and almost sovereign. Athens continued to coin her 
silver drachms with the old design of Pallas and the owl, 
elected her own archons and generals, held assemblies and even 
had a sort of empire extending over all Attica, part of Boeotia 
and five islands of the Cyclades. One Julius Nicanor, her 
"new Themistocles," purchased the island of Salamis and 
presented it to his city in the civilised manner of empire-build- 
ing. Sparta, too, though now shrunken to the size of a village, 
bore rule over Northern Laconia, while in the south there was a 
free confederacy to keep her in order. Beside these cities of 



ancient renown stood the new and splendid creation of Augustus 
Nicopolis, the city of victory, founded on the promontory of 
Actium in commemoration of the great victory of 3 1 . Nicopolis 
had its great athletic festival like Olympia and ruled over a 
considerable territory. In addition to these free cities there 
were some Roman colonies. Corinth rose again from her ashes 
as an important commercial city founded by Julius Caesar. 
Patras, on the Corinthian Gulf, a new foundation of Augustus, 
became one of the most important cities of Greece, as it is to- 
day. The rest of Southern Greece, consisting mainly of obscure 
villages, formed the new senatorial province of Achaia and was 
governed by a proconsul at Corinth. It was a poor unmilitary 
province. The northern part formed the senatorial province of 
Macedonia. Thessalonica and Apollonia were the principal 
centres of government and civilisation in this region. In 
Greece, as elsewhere, Augustus made it his aim to focus a 
national unity upon religion. The old Achaean league was 
revived as a religious gathering with Argos for its centre, and 
the Delphic Amphictyony, the oldest surviving institution in 
Europe, became the basis of a Panhellenic confederacy which 
met annually for religious purposes under Roman patronage, a 
sort of Eisteddfod combining religion with culture. It sacri- 
ficed to Caesar, and here, too, we find a president called 
" Helladarch." But although Greece had liberty and peace, 
something was amiss with her. Her shrunken population con- 
tinued to decline. In Strabo's Geography, Thebes is a mere 

Crossing the water we find that the newly conquered king- 
dom of Egypt was the key to the whole position of Augustus. 
It was the wealth of Egypt which had reconciled Rome to 
monarchy and it was by means of that wealth that he continued 
to hold the allegiance of his subjects. Like Greece it had an 
ancient civilisation which impressed the Romans as something 
beyond their comprehension. Alexandria, in particular, as the 
gateway to the wealth of Egypt, and as the greatest existing 
centre of Greek culture, not to mention its huge population 


and commercial advantages, seemed to the Romans a really 
dangerous rival. The fear of that rivalry had been felt very 
acutely at Rome when news came of the ambitious schemes of 
Cleopatra and the subservience of Antony. Augustus was 
really heading something like a national crusade when he 
declared war upon them. The same fears now actuated him 
in settling the treatment of Egypt as a province. Though he 
writes " I added Egypt to the Roman empire," he treated it 
rather as an imperial domain under a prefect or viceroy closely 
attached to his interests. Its first prefect was Cornelius 
Gallus, a knight from the Gallic colony of Frejus, a poet him- 
self and a friend of Vergil. Cornelius Gallus was in fact the 
hero of the famous eclogue : neget quis carmina Gallo ? It was 
specially ordained that no senator might visit Egypt without 
the express permission of Caesar. The native Egyptians were 
already overridden by a Greek aristocracy dating from 
Alexander's conquest. They had no rights, and no nationality 
was designed for them as it had been elsewhere. Augustus 
accepted the elaborate bureaucratic system which he had found 
in existence when he came. The Greek aristocracy lived 
almost exclusively in Alexandria, possessing a municipal con- 
stitution, magistracy, and priesthood ofltheir own. The ecclesia 
was stopped but otherwise there was no attempt to Romanise 
Egypt. The old Egyptian worship of Isis and Osiris had 
conquered all its conquerors and continued to make inroads 
even into Rome itself where Augustus was forced to accept it 
as irresistible. All that had happened in Egypt was that 
Augustus had taken the place of the Ptolemies in the official 
religion. It was the motive of fear which led to the appoint- 
ment of a mere knight as viceroy, though he had three legions 
under his command. The officials under him were knights or 
freedmen. The taxes remained very heavy, as was necessary, 
but now the Egyptians were placed in a better position to pay 
them. Even before the civil war was quite ended in 29 B.C. 
Augustus had employed his soldiers to clear the canals and 
raise the level of the dams which ensure the Egyptian harvests. 



This process continued, and Egypt never had such prosperity 
again until Lord Cromer came to resume the work of Augustus. 
The harvest depended simply on the height to which the Nile 
rose. The ancient Nilometer at Elephantine records that the 
Nile rose to an unprecedented height in the latter days of 
Augustus. Formerly a level of eight ells had meant famine, 
now it ensured a tolerable harvest. Another inscription found 
at Coptos gives us the names of the Roman soldiers who built 
reservoirs of water along the great roads. Then the trade 
with India along the Red Sea first began to grow great. 
Whereas in the time of Cleopatra hardly twenty ships sailed 
to India in a year, there was already in Strabo's day (about 
A.D. 1 8) a great fleet of Indiamen. Taxes on exports and 
imports returned a huge revenue to the imperial purse. 

The prefect who represented his master on the throne of 
the Ptolemies was in a difficult position. To Rome he was a 
mere servant, to the Egyptians something like a god. Against 
these flattering influences Gallus the poet had not strength to 
resist. He allowed statues to be erected to him and even had 
his own achievements engraved upon the pyramids. A 
traitorous friend reported these indiscretions at Rome. 
Augustus was content to recall him and forbid him to live in 
the provinces or to enter his presence. But the officious senate 
voted his condemnation to banishment, and confiscated all his 
property to Augustus, whereby Gallus was driven to suicide. 
Then Augustus was sorry and complained that it was hard not 
to be able to scold one's friends like a private man. This was 
the first case of that disease known as delatio (informing) which 
was afterwards to become such a pest under the Empire. It is 
satisfactory to learn that the informer was very rudely treated 
in Roman society. From Egypt, as a base, expeditions were 
made in the time of Augustus to Arabia and the Soudan. 
Arabia Felix was to the Romans a kind of Eldorado of bound- 
less wealth, as Horace writes to a friend who was joining the 
campaign. The Arabs brought their incense into the Syrian 
markets and already traded with India from Aden, but the 





national wealth of the country was exaggerated and its diffi- 
culties unknown. This expedition of 25 B.C., which was on a 
very large scale and included contingents from Judaea, was one 
of the few deliberate wars of conquest ever planned by Augustus. 
He learnt a lesson by its failure in the burning and trackless 
deserts. The other campaign against the black ^Ethiopians 
of the Soudan under their warlike but one-eyed queen Candace 
was more successful. Petronius the legate penetrated as far as 
the Second Cataract and sent a thousand prisoners to Rome, 
but Augustus seems to have been content to make the First 
Cataract his southern frontier. 

The neighbouring client kingdom of Judaea is of importance 
not only because the days of Augustus saw the birth of that 
Child in Bethlehem who was destined to conquer Rome and 
through Rome the world, but because its throne was occupied 
by the ablest and most remarkable man, next to Augustus, in 
the whole Empire. Herod the Great, an Edomite Arab by birth, 
had succeeded to the throne of the Maccabees in 37 B.C. He 
was not only a daring warrior but a singularly skilful diplomat 
who was always able to cover up his crimes by adroit flattery 
and a fascinating manner. He was very successful in trimming 
between the rivals throughout the civil wars and even shared 
the favours of Cleopatra with his Roman masters. In these 
ways he increased his domains by the addition of Gadara, 
Samaria, and the Philistine coast towns. In compliment to 
Augustus he refounded Samaria with great splendour as the 
Greek city of Sebaste and built Greek theatres, Roman amphi- 
theatres, and baths in Jerusalem itself. He even instituted 
quinquennial games there, wherein naked athletes performed 
to the infinite disgust of the Jews. He took his sons to Rome 
for their education and there he met and fascinated both 
Augustus and Agrippa. He even persuaded Agrippa to visit 
Jerusalem for the opening of his magnificent new temple in 1 5 
B.C. Agrippa came and sacrificed a whole hecatomb to Jehovah 
to the apparent delight of the people. Later on Herod made a 
grand tour of Asia Minor, scattering lavish gifts everywhere 



and receiving complimentary inscriptions in return. He 
succeeded in obtaining valuable privileges for his fellow- Jews 
scattered abroad in those regions. Henceforth they were not 
forced to render military service and had special permission to 
keep the Sabbath. 

In 9 and 8 B.C., however, he got into trouble with Augustus 
for conducting a military expedition against the Arabs without 
permission. This was the greatest offence that a client king 
could commit, and Augustus declared that henceforth he would 
treat Herod not as a friend, but as a subject. But in the next 
year a humble embassy was sent to Rome with the historian 
Nicolaus as its spokesman. Herod received the gracious per- 
mission to deal with his rebellious sons as he thought fit, and 
accordingly strangled two of them. Herod's family history is 
a deplorable record of crimes and intrigues. He seems to have 
had ten wives, and on his death in 4 B.C., he left three wills 
among which Augustus had to decide. Seeing that Judaea was 
so rich and powerful as to be a possible source of danger, he 
decided to split it up into three. Then began a whole series 
of troubles, in the course of which the Jews of Jerusalem actually 
attacked a Roman legion. In revenge the legate of Syria, 
Quintilius Varus, crucified 2000 of the inhabitants. In the final 
award Judaea fell to Archelaus, Galilee to Herod Antipas. 
Ten years later, however, the infamous Archelaus was deposed 
at the petition of his subjects, and Judaea was made subject to 
the province of Syria with a procurator of its own. Herod 
Antipas continued to rule his petty kingdom until about A.D. 
34, when it also was united to the province. He is the Herod 
whom Christ denounced as " that fox," and he is the Herod of 
Christ's Judgment, when he happened to be at Jerusalem on a 
visit to Pontius Pilatus, the Roman procurator. Pilate was a 
Roman knight, but Felix, one of his successors, was only 
a freedman. The seat of the Roman government was not at 
Jerusalem, but at Caesarea, so that the prcztorium in which the 
trial of Jesus took place must have been the temporary head- 
quarters of Pilate in the palace built by Herod the Great. 

6 A 



The procurator only commanded auxiliary troops, and nearly 
all the " Roman soldiers " mentioned in the Gospels must have 
been of Jewish birth. As soon as it was a province, but not 
before, Judaea had to pay tribute to Caesar. Hence the 
existence of a " chief of the publicans " like Zacchseus. As 
usual, the Romans preserved what they could of native institu- 
tions, and the Sanhedrin continued to act as a national council, 
so far as could be permitted. Thus it might try Jesus, but it 
could not pronounce the death sentence. On the other hand, 
another procurator, Festus, committed Paul to the Sanhedrin 
for judgment. The fact is that the Jewish law was so peculiarly 
national that a bewildered and well-intentioned Roman knight 
like Pilate might often say " take ye Him and judge Him ac- 
cording to your law." The Roman government was so tolerant 
of the religion of its subjects that even a Roman citizen who 
ventured to enter the Holy of Holies was punished with death. 
The Jewish religion was expressly under Roman protection. 
Agrippa, as we have seen, had sacrificed to Jehovah, but later 
on we find Augustus commending his grandson Gaius for not 
having worshipped Jehovah. As a matter of fact, with the 
spread of the newer forms of Hellenic philosophy the religious 
feeling of the world, which had long ago given up its faith in 
the Olympian mythology, was turning more and more towards 
monotheism and a mystical system of ethics. The higher 
Pharisaism, which Paul had learnt at the feet of Gamaliel, was 
decidedly influenced by Stoicism. Hence the Jewish religion 
even before its Christian development was extremely fascinating 
to the Roman mind, and it had to be forbidden in the capital. 
Even at Jerusalem the Jews were expected to sacrifice, not to 
but far " Caesar and the Roman People " every day. Augustus 
paid for this ritual out of his own pocket. In deference to 
the feeling of the Jews, the coins struck for Judaea bore no 
portrait of Caesar, and even the standards, because they bore 
portraits, were ordered not to be carried into the Holy 
City. It is true that the silver denarius of Syria circulated 
in Judaea to some extent, and it is of such a coin that Christ 



was speaking when He asked : " Whose image and superscrip- 
tion is this ? " 

The province of Africa with Numidia was handed over to 
the senate as peaceful in 27 B.C., and it was one of the only two 
Roman provinces which Augustus never visited. Nominally 
it stretched from the boundary of the kingdom of Mauretania 
at the river Ampsaga on the west to the borders of the 
Cyrenaica on the east. But actually it consisted of the islands 
of fertility on the Tunisian coast. Carthage had been 
colonised by Julius Caesar and was now refounded by Augustus. 
There was no inland frontier. In the desert behind the 
mountains there still flourished the wild Gaetulian nomads who 
occasionally descended upon the peaceful province and provided 
a Roman triumph. This was the reason why a legion was still 
kept in Africa. The neighbouring kingdom of Mauretania 
was assigned to an interesting young royal couple. The 
husband was Juba, a descendant of Masinissa, who had been 
educated as a Roman, had served in the Roman army and 
was so complete a Greek scholar that he wrote among many 
other works a history of the Drama. The wife was a daughter 
of Cleopatra by Antony, who had ridden in Caesar's triumph at 
Rome. Both Mauretania and its eastern neighbour Numidia, 
which had been added to the Roman province, now settled 
down to wealth and happiness under the Roman rule. The 
splendid ruins which still survive indicate a prosperity which 
has not as yet been completely recovered. 

Cyrene, where the descendants of the Romans are now 
carving out a province for themselves, though geographically 
a part of the African continent, was historically regarded as 
a Greek island, and united in one province with Crete. It 
consisted of a group of five Greek cities with a large inter- 
mixture of Jews. Cyrene has no history in this period, but 
after the siege of Jerusalem there was a terrible outburst of 
Jewish fanaticism. Thousands of Roman citizens were tortured 
and slain. 

Perhaps no country in the world has had such a chequered 


and miserable history as the pleasant island of Sicily with its 
rich volcanic soil. For four hundred years it had been mainly 
Greek. The eastern end, at least, had been scattered with 
important city-states which, under the leadership of Syracuse, 
had waged incessant conflict with the Carthaginian invaders in 
their western strongholds. We have seen how the Romans 
finally drove out the Semitic element and conquered the 
Greeks. During the latter part of republican history the 
island had been of vital importance to Rome as supplying 
through its tribute the chief part of the corn-supply. At the 
same time it had been cruelly exploited and oppressed by Roman 
governors like Verres. Then during the civil wars Sextus 
Pompeius had made it his head-quarters, and it had been laid 
under heavy contributions by both sides. Messina, its richest 
town, had been the scene of a sack and massacre. No country 
had more to hope from the Pax Augusta, and it now began to 
enjoy one of its brief periods of rest. Augustus spent the 
winter of 22 in Sicily at the beginning of his tour in Greece. 
He founded colonies at six famous cities of old. While he 
was in the island the Sicilians offered him a kind of round- 
robin of complaint against the extortion of his procurator. 
Augustus instantly dismissed the offender and replaced him by 
his own valued tutor, the philosopher Areus. It was thoroughly 
in accordance with his policy to put a Greek philosopher in 
charge of a Greek island. 

So far we have been surveying the treatment of that part 
of the Roman world which was already quite civilised and 
mainly Greek. We now turn to the barbarian West and North, 
mainly consisting of newly conquered Caesarian provinces. In 
these quarters, the nearer parts of Spain and the Narbonensian 
province of Gaul were the only regions which could be called 
civilised. As soon as the provisional settlement of 27 B.C. was 
effected Augustus hurried away to Gaul. It was generally 
thought that he was on his way to conquer Britain, for that 
was the second of the two tasks which Julius had left to his 
successor. Accordingly the loyal Horace dutifully prays : 

o 209 


serues iturum Csesarem in ultimos 
orbis Britannos.* 

But this was not the time, and Augustus was not the man, for 
dazzling conquests. " Hasten slowly" was his favourite motto, 
and his empire policy was founded on the same principle. For 
the present the Ocean, then called British, was boundary 
enough. Augustus was reducing the army and Britain would 
have taken at least a legion to keep it quiet. So Britain had 
to delay its prospects of civilisation until Gaul and Spain were 
organised and the German frontier settled. We have the 
record of British chiefs coming to Rome with unknown petitions 
during the period, but beyond that there is silence on our 
island. As for Gaul, Julius had done the work of conquest 
thoroughly enough, and the Gauls as an adaptable people 
were taking to Roman civilisation with avidity. There were 
indeed corners of it not yet enlightened and the whole govern- 
ment required organisation. Augustus went straight to the 
capital of the old province, Narbonne, and there; he arranged 
a census and a land register, not, as Ferrero observes, out of 
mere statistical curiosity. Probably no tribute had come in 
from Gaul during the civil wars, and Augustus was much 
concerned with finance. For the moment an outbreak in Spain 
called the emperor away, but five years later he returned to 
complete his work. The old province, which has passed into 
history as Provence, was now handed back to the senate as com- 
pletely pacified, and the rest of Gaul was eventually divided 
into three parts : Aquitania, the half-Spanish south-west ; Lug- 
dunensis (the east and centre stretching right across France 
with its capital Lyons or Lugdunum on its eastern border) ; and 
Belgica (the northern part with Trier Augusta Treverorum, 
not yet founded and Rheims as its chief towns). This division 
was mainly, though not entirely, based on racial considerations. 
Together the three formed one of Qesar's provinces as 
Gallia Comata. 

* Mayst thou [Fortune] preserve Csesar, who marches against the Britons 
at the ends of the earth. (Odes, I. xxxv. 29-30.) 


The treatment of the conquered land was wise and humane. 
Druidical religion, already a waning force, was permitted to 
exist, though it included human sacrifice and was hostile to the 
Romans. In the reign of Claudius it was forbidden. But 
other native deities were actually encouraged by the state, and 
Augustus himself built an altar to some strange Gallic spirits. 
But side by side with the native religion he fostered the new 
cult, as in Asia, of "Rome and Augustus." There had always 
been tribal councils which culminated in a great national 
gathering at Lugdunum once a year. Apparently the presiding 
priests had been elected from the well-born natives and were 
in opposition to the Druids. Augustus made skilful use of 
this organisation and fostered it in order to make it a centre 
for Roman patriotism. He set up a great altar at Lugdunum 
inscribed "to Rome and Augustus." It was constructed in a 
sacred grove, and was surrounded by statues emblematic of 
the sixty Gallic tribes. The elected priest had to be a Roman 
citizen of Gallic birth. It soon became a distinction coveted 
by the grandsons of those who had fought against Julius. This 
is very characteristic of the systematic empire-building which 
went on in the days of Augustus. Lugdunum rose to be a 
great imperial city, the only city in Gaul which possessed full 
Roman citizenship and had a mint of its own. From it a 
great and elaborate road system radiated to all parts of France 
very much in the same directions as the modern railways. 
Schools were founded and the study of Latin encouraged 
though not enforced. The Gauls took very ardently to their 
new studies, displaying in particular a remarkable faculty for 
rhetoric. The principle came into force that when a town or 
district could show that it spoke Latin it received important 
rights of citizenship, including that great privilege, the use of 
Roman law. The land system of Gaul differed essentially from 
that of Italy in that it was based on tribes and cantons instead 
of cities. Already the towns were growing as centres for the 
tribes, but to this day many of the names of French cities are 
those of tribes rather than towns : thus Lutetia of the Parisii 



is Paris, Durocortorum of the Remi is Rheims, Divodurum of 
the Mediomatrici is Metz, and Agedincum of the Senones is 
Sens. The tribute ultimately fixed was a high one but on the 
whole justly regulated. It is probable that the ugly story of 
Licinius and his extortions is told as an exceptional occurrence. 
In any case Gaul was taught how to grow rich and prosperous. 
Mines of silver and gold were successfully exploited, the 
culture of flax was encouraged, and the soil was found to be 
admirably suited to cereal crops. Gaul became a hive of in- 
dustry and a source of ever-increasing wealth. She purchased 
oil and wine from Italy as well as the articles of Eastern luxury 
which passed through the hands of Roman merchants. A 2^ 
per cent, duty was charged at the frontier both on imports and 
exports. Such were some of the methods by which the 
Romanisation of Gaul was effected, and the foundations so well 
and truly laid that through all the invasions of Franks and 
Burgundians, Gaul remained Roman in speech and thought, 
and remains so to this day.* 

Of all the momentous problems which Augustus had to face, 
the delimitation of the northern frontier was the weightiest. 
It has always been one of the disputed questions of Roman 
history, why Augustus, who was generally so cautious and so 
unwilling to embark upon adventures, deliberately chose to 
cross the Rhine and plunge into those impenetrable forests of 
whose dangers and difficulties Julius Caesar had left so clear a 
warning. Was it his aim to forestall the danger of a German 
invasion of Gaul? On the other hand, the Rhine might well 
seem a sufficient frontier, as indeed for many centuries it was. 
Was it his aim to exercise his troops in difficult warfare and 
perhaps secure military renown for the young men whom he had 
destined for the succession? These are scarcely adequate 
motives for a man like Augustus. Did he hope to accquire 
wealth out of Germany as he had done out of Gaul ? He must 
have known that the virgin forests and undrained morasses of 
Germany would scarcely balance the difficulties and dangers of 

* Plates 29-32. 


a campaign there, and that the Germans were far behind their 
Gallic cousins in civilisation. The problem seems to me 
insoluble unless we accept the theory that the whole scheme 
was part of the search for a natural strategic frontier under- 
taken with false notions of geography. It is certain that many 
of the ancients believed that they would find the Ocean again 
where Russia is, and that the Caspian Sea was part of it. In 
that case the Romans may have hoped to round off their 
empire satisfactorily in this direction. It would explain the 
curious tactics by which Roman expeditions crossing the Rhine 
and plunging into the heart of Germany ordered their fleets to 
coast along the Dutch and Danish shores. 

From whatever motives it was undertaken, this penetration 
of Germany and its ultimate failure was a fact of vast conse- 
quence in the history of Europe. From one point of view the 
history of Europe may be described as a record of the various 
relations between the Roman and the German elements, with 
occasional incursions from the Celtic or Turanian fringes. It 
is one long contest between Latin and Teutonic race, religion, 
language, law, and ideas political and economic. Hence it is 
impossible to overrate the importance of the moment when the 
first round of that age-long contest was fought out and settled. 
Hidden among the forests in those mysterious wildernesses 
beyond the Rhine were the numerous tribes who were destined 
one day to form the nations of Europe. Here were the 
Saxons of Saxony and England, the Swabians, the Franks, the 
Vandals, the Burgundians, the Goths, the Lombards, and many 
others, yet unnamed, the germs of the nations. 

It was by no means their first entrance on the stage of 
history. We believe that the dominant races of historical 
Greece, and perhaps of historical Rome, traced back their 
ancestry to the central regions of Europe. Since then history 
had recorded several alarming incursions of northern barbarians, 
and in a general sense the story of the Mediterranean peoples 
shows how wave after wave of strong warriors from the North 
descended upon the fertile peninsulas of the South, which 



always absorbed and assimilated them, until finally they became 
a prey to the enervating influences of climate, melted into the 
native strain, and had to make room for a fresh wave of un- 
tamed northerners. Read in this light, extraordinary interest 
attaches to the moment when all-conquering Rome attempted 
to conquer the wilds which sheltered these mighty tribes. If 
she had succeeded in taming and Romanising the Germans 
also, as she had done with the Spaniards and Gauls, the course 
of history might have been very different. But even then, 
though she knew it not, behind the Teutonic peoples lay the 
Slavs, and behind them the Tartars and the Huns. The task 
of civilising the world from a single centre was impossible. 
Augustus would have been wiser to choose a strong frontier first 
and then proceed gradually by peaceful penetration. Probably 
Augustus judged that the policy of buffer states which he had 
applied in the East was not applicable to barbarians. As it 
was, conquest was the method he selected, contrary to his usual 
custom and contrary to his natural inclination. Herein success 
led to over-confidence and so to disaster. 

We always term the people over the wall " barbarians," but 
the Germans had their various political and social systems and 
some of their tribes were more civilised than others. By 
comparing the Commentaries of Caesar with the Germania of 
Tacitus we get a fairly comprehensive notion of German 
institutions, which, it must be remembered, were those of our 
own ancestors. They had no cities. Like the Gauls they 
were grouped in tribes and the tribes were subdivided into 
cantons, the cantons into villages. They lived on the produce 
of their flocks and herds, on the chase, and on a primitive type 
of "extensive" agriculture, which involved fresh ploughlands 
every year and thus caused continual unrest and jostling of 
tribe against tribe. This was what made them such trouble- 
some neighbours to the Gauls, and led to those gigantic 
"treks" which meet us from time to time in history. Their 
only political system was a fighting organisation; hereditary 
chiefs and princes led them in battle and the general in a large 











movement was elected from amongst the princes by the free- 
men of the tribe. In peace there was no general magistracy, 
but the elders and priests administered justice in the villages. 
Among the warriors there was a rough freedom and equality. 
The free warrior had very considerable rights, but only as a 
warrior. Among the Suevi, according to Caesar, there were a 
hundred cantons, each of which furnished a thousand men to 
the army for a year's service while the rest stayed at home to 
carry on agriculture and hunting. But this seems, if it is 
accurate, to be an exceptional degree of organisation. The 
chastity, the patriotism, the honesty of these barbarians as well 
as their courage and gigantic stature were favourite themes for 
Roman eloquence. It is likely enough that Tacitus heightened 
their virtues with his satirical instinct in order to point a moral 
to his fellow-countrymen. 

Julius Caesar had left the Rhine as the frontier of his Gallic 
provinces, though he had crossed it twice by way of recon- 
naissance. Quite at the beginning of Augustus's presidency, 
the Suevi had had to be chased back across the Rhine, and the 
Treveri across the Moselle. At this time, Germany was still 
for administrative purposes a part of the Gallic provinces, and 
as a rule there was some high officer in charge of both. The 
Rhine was not impassable to the barbarians, and moreover there 
were Germanic tribes on both sides of it, such as the Treveri 
of Trier and the Ubii of Cologne, who were in frequent inter- 
course with their neighbours on the other side. This made 
the river a somewhat insufficient boundary. There were inroads 
of German barbarians in 29, 25, 20 and 16 B.C. In the latter 
case a Roman legate was surprised and defeated, and the eagle 
of the Fifth Legion carried off in triumph. 

This brought Augustus to the spot, and he spent two years 
in studying the problems of Gaul and Germany. In 12 B.C. 
the first campaign was undertaken under the command of 
Drusus, his younger stepson. Drusus, who was not yet twenty- 
five, was the most brilliant figure of his day, brave, handsome, 
virtuous, adored by the soldiers, and a thoroughly capable 



general. On this occasion he crossed the Rhine and descended 
into Dutch territory, laying waste the lands of the Sygambri 
and the other hostile tribes who had provoked these punitive 
measures. He accepted the submission of the Frisians who 
lived on the coast of North Holland. During the winter his 
troops seem to have been employed in cutting a canal from 
the Rhine to the Zuyder Zee. Next year he crossed again, 
marched on, and threw a bridge across the Lippe, crossed the 
territory of the Cherusci the most warlike of all the tribes 
and halted on the banks of the Weser. He built a great fort 
at the junction of the Lippe and the Alme or Ems, and cut a 
highway along the banks of the Lippe to join the new fort 
Aliso with a great camp on the Rhine near Xanten. In the 
next year there was more building and settling, and in 9 B.C. 
came the great effort. Drusus marched out into Suabia 
and Cheruscia, crossed the Weser, ravaging everywhere, and 
reached the Elbe. This river he essayed to cross, but he could 
not, and, as the historians put it, omens appeared to forbid 
further progress. This then was the Roman limit. Somewhere 
between the Saale and the Weser, Drusus fell from his horse 
and sustained injuries which resulted in his death. Augustus, 
though greatly grieved, determined to continue his operations. 
Tiberius was sent to continue the work, and 40,000 Sygambrians 
were transported into Roman territory. We know little of the 
work of the next dozen years. Another legate reached the 
Elbe. A great viaduct was constructed between the Ems and 
the Rhine. During this period the pacification was apparently 
proceeding with rapidity. Many of the young Germans came 
into the Roman camp and learnt Roman ways and Latin speech. 
The head-quarters were still at Vetera Castra near Xanten and 
at Mogontiacum (Mainz), with summer quarters at Aliso. In 
A.D. 4 fresh campaigns were undertaken by Tiberius. For 
many of these expeditions the Roman historians offer no excuse 
or justification. They record with pride the immense slaughter 
and devastation that accompanied them. It is hard to resist 
the conclusion that much of this fighting was undertaken for 








its own sake, or to exercise the legions. In A.D. 5 the greatest 
expedition of all was undertaken. There was a great " durbar " 
at which the wild Chauci and Cherusci handed in their weapons 
and did obeisance to the Roman general. The Langobardi 
later known as the Lombards submitted, and Tiberius 
crossed the Elbe itself, while the fleet which had "circum- 
navigated the recesses of the Ocean" sailed up the river to 
meet the army with supplies. All seemed to be going well : 
Germany was nearly conquered. There only remained the 
powerful kingdom of the Marcomanni under King Marbod, who 
dwelt in the fastnesses of Bohemia. Marbod was an able ruler 
who alone in Germany had succeeded in establishing a strong 
throne, and had drilled a powerful army of 70,000 foot and 
4000 horse. As the historian Velleius observes, his Alpine 
boundaries were only two hundred miles from Italy, and this 
formidable power was a real menace to the safety of the empire. 
Accordingly elaborate plans were made for his destruction by 
an invasion from three sides at once. Unfortunately just at 
the moment when the armies were converging upon their prey, 
there broke out the great Pannonian and Illyrian revolt of 
A.D. 6, which brought all the tribes of Austria down upon the 
Romans. It was one of the most dangerous moments in 
Roman history. Fifteen legions were employed against them, 
and the military resources of the Empire 
strained almost to breaking-point. Luckily 
for Rome, Marbod made no attempt to 
join the revolt, and the barbarians were 
under divided leadership. Germanicus, 
the son of Drusus, helped Tiberius to crush 
them, but it took three or four years to 
accomplish it. 

Meanwhile Germany itself had to be Portrait of Varus 
content with inferior legates. Quintilius 
Varus was one of those amiable men who cause mutinies by 
kindness. He fancied that Germany was tranquil. He went 
about founding cities, holding assizes, collecting tribute and 



giving justice according to Roman law precisely " as if he had 
been a city praetor in the Forum at Rome and not a general 
in the German forests." Accordingly in A.D. 9 a plot was 
hatched against him. He was enticed away into the recesses 
of the Saltus Teutoburgiensis and slaughtered. Then the 
Cheruscan army swept down upon the three Roman legions 
and destroyed them. 

In itself the disaster was not overwhelming. Three legions 
had perished, but fifteen more, flushed with their recent victory 
over the Illyrians, were at hand to avenge them. The 
Cheruscans immediately submitted and Germanicus found no 
serious opposition when he penetrated Germany on an errand 
of chastisement. But for Augustus the reverse was decisive. 
He was now an old enfeebled man. When he heard of the 
disaster he beat his head against the wall and was often heard 
to cry : " Varus, give me back my legions." He saw that there 
was no end to these adventures in the forest and no profit in 
them. As a frontier the Elbe was no better than the Rhine. 
Therefore he had the supremely good sense to accept the 
Rhine as his frontier. Henceforth Rhine and Danube with 
roads and forts along them, and with special arrangements to 
strengthen the angle where the rivers run small that should 
be bulwark enough for the present. And so it was. 

The patriotism of German historians has made of this 
defeat of Varus rather more than it deserves. Arminius the 
young Cheruscan who led the attack was a patriot though a 
traitor. He had been, says Velleius, a faithful ally in previous 
campaigns and had even attained Roman citizenship and 
equestrian rank. He spoke Latin fluently. His very name is 
most probably a Latin cognomen, though the patriotism of the 
Germans will call him " Hermann." So the German student of 
to-day sings over his beer : 

Dann zieh'n wir aus zur Hermannschlacht 
Und wollen Rache haben. 

It was not half so gallant an act of revolt as that of our British 








lady, Boadicea, but it had the merit of success. The Germans 
were able to develop their strength behind the artificial 
ramparts of the Rhine and Danube until the time came for 
them to burst through in conquest. 

It is commonly said that Augustus immediately after A.D. 9 
formed two provinces called Upper and Lower Germany along 
the Rhine as if to conceal his loss of the real Germany. This 
is not exact. In the warfare of Tiberius's days the historians 
speak only of the Upper or the Lower Army in Germany, and 
Augustus in his monument speaks of Germany in the singular. 
Under Tiberius ample revenge was taken for the defeat and 
Germanicus again and again traversed Germany. The Varus 
disaster was only one of the episodes which decided the 
Romans to halt at the Rhine. Aliso was long retained as an 
outpost, and colonies of Roman veterans were planted on 
German soil. The Cheruscans and Arminius were defeated in 
a tremendous battle at Idistavisus near Minden on the Weser 
in A.D. 1 6. But on the way back the Roman fleet was ship- 
wrecked and a great many prisoners fell into the hands of the 
Germans. Some of these were sold as slaves to the Britons and 
many eventually returned to Rome bringing back marvellous 
stories of their adventures. As for Marbod, he was defeated 
in a battle with the Cheruscans and took refuge on Roman 
soil, where he lived for eighteen years at Ravenna. Arminius, 
his conqueror, began to play the tyrant in his native tribe and 
was slain by the treachery of his kinsmen at the age of thirty- 
seven. His wife Thusnelda and his son had long ago fallen 
into the hands of the Romans and the boy grew up as a Roman 

The headquarters of the Rhine legions continued to be at 
Mainz and Xanten with summer quarters at the new Colonia 
which became Cologne. Four legions of the Upper Army 
were stationed at the former, and four of the Lower Army at 
the latter. In due course, we cannot say when, these became 
the centres of two separate provinces. On the Danube there 
were three legions in Pannonia, the great new Austrian province. 



Along this frontier there was now a double line of Caesarian 
provinces. Rhaetia and Noricum were conquered in 15 B.C. 
Then there were tedious and unprofitable campaigns in the 
southern Swiss valleys as the result of which a row of little 
Alpine prefectures was established. There is still a fine 
monument to Augustus on the heights above Monaco 
enumerating forty-six Alpine tribes made subject to Rome. 
It was erected by the gratitude of the Italian farmers, for the 
Alpine tribes had always scourged the plains. Roads were 
constructed here and there over the Alps. The principal pass 
to Germany lay by way of Turin and the St. Bernard with 
Augusta (Aosta) to guard it. In Pannonia the old route from 
Aquilegia over the Julian Alps was restored and a new Via 
Claudia constructed up the valley of the Adige from Tridentum 
(Trent) to Augusta (Augsburg). To round off the Danube 
frontier Moesia or Mysia was conquered quite at the beginning 
of the period and added as an Imperial province, probably in 
A.D. 6, under a prefect. It stretched along the south bank of 
the Danube, down to the Black Sea, and embraced part of the 
Balkan high lands. Thus with strong legions posted in 
permanent encampments all along the Rhine and Danube, Rome 
had now a satisfactory northern frontier which only required 
guarding to keep Rome and Italy in security. 

Spain had never been entirely subjugated though it had 
been in the possession of the Republic for nearly two centuries. 
Parts of it indeed were almost as Roman as Rome. Gades 
and Corduba, for example, were centres of learning and 
literature, soon to produce citizens of renown in Lucan, Seneca, 
Martial, Quintilian, and an emperor in Trajan a most dis- 
tinguished galaxy. But a great part of Spain was still in the 
hands of wild and chivalrous barbarians. Particularly in the north- 
west the Cantabrians and Asturians were a menace to the 
peaceful province. For eight years and more the Romans 
continued to fight them with brief intervals termed "victories." 
Augustus himself came over in 26 B.C. and directed operations 
comfortably from Tarraco. The leader of the rebels was a 











hero-chief called Corocotta who so exasperated the Romans 

that Augustus offered .10,000 for his capture. This sum the 

brigand earned by walking into the Roman camp to surrender, 

and Augustus, charmed at the idea, gave him his liberty as 

well as the reward. He married a Roman wife and died a 

Roman citizen as Gaius Julius Caracuttus. Caesar himself fell 

seriously ill in the course of the long campaign. Both sides 

increased in ferocity. The Romans crucified their prisoners 

and the Spaniards mocked them from the cross. Finally 

Augustus had to send for Agrippa to finish the business, which 

he did in 19 B.C. Now Spain was really conquered for ever 

and even the northern highlanders laid down their arms and 

accepted civilisation. Bsetica, the southern part of the 

peninsula, was given to the senate to govern, and the northern 

half divided into the two imperial provinces, Tarraconensis 

and Lusitania, the latter corresponding roughly to modern 

Portugal. In Spain also altars were erected to Rome and 

Augustus. Roads radiated out from Tarraco. Many towns 

were founded, such as Caesar Augusta (Saragossa), Augusta 

Emerita (Merida), Pax Julia (Beja), Legiones (Leon), Asturica 

Augusta (Astorga). The Celtic religion and probably the 

very language quickly became extinct. Even in the time of 

Augustus there were fifty communities with full Roman 

citizenship. New mines were discovered and vigorously 

worked, new industries, especially in metal, carefully fostered. 

This brief and imperfect sketch of the Roman Empire, as it 
took shape under the all-seeing eye of Augustus, should indicate, 
more than all the triumphs she won in battle, more, even, than 
the story of the Punic Wars, the real "Grandeur that was 
Rome." The true greatness of the Roman lies in his indomit- 
able energy and his practical good sense, not to be obscured 
by the surface of rhetorical culture which had come to over- 
lay it in these latter generations. Now that Rome had at last 
secured for herself a reasonably secure and sensible form of 
government, she was able to exercise her natural capacity for 



affairs and to play the part which destiny had assigned to her 
of propagating civilisation throughout Europe. If the his- 
torians would allow us, we should gladly turn away from the 
wars and proscriptions to study the quiet useful work which 
she was performing now and henceforth in every corner of her 
empire. The motive was, no doubt, self-interest, but it was 
that broad and far-seeing selfishness which in the realm of 
public affairs is the nearest approach to altruism. The 
Republic that sucked the blood of her provinces is detestable 
to all right-thinking men. The autocracy that cleared out the 
canals in Egypt, planted flax and encouraged pottery in Gaul, 
irrigated Africa and taught agriculture to the Moorish nomads, 
set the wild Iberians to mining and weaving, built aqueducts 
and roads everywhere, established a postal system and policed 
land and sea so effectively that a man might fare from York 
to Palmyra, or from Trier to Morocco " with his bosom full of 
gold," may be tyranny governing in its own interests, but it is 
an institution for which the world has every reason to be 











Pater argentarius, ego Corinthiarius. 

Anonymous satire on. Augustus quoted by SUETONIUS. 

HROUGHOUT his great task of repairing 
a world which had fallen to pieces, Augus- 
tus was by no means ignorant of the fact 
that it is the " spirit that maketh alive." 
Indeed it was his constant endeavour to 
alter facts without changing their names. 
He was well aware that Sulla had failed 
miserably when he tossed the Romans a 
constitution and left nothing but an oath to 
support it. To adjust frontiers and organise 
new provinces with the help of his trusty 
and invincible little legionaries was probably the pleasantest 
and the easiest part of Caesar's task. To reform the ancient 
imperial city with her centuries of proud and brutal tradition 
was equally essential, but it was desperate work. For the 
Empire of Augustus was born into the world suffering 
from degeneration of the heart. The nobility, upon which 
everything that was great and glorious in Roman history de- 
pended, was morally corrupt, intellectually inert, spiritually 
void, and even physically decrepit and sterile. The civil wars 
and proscriptions had systematically pruned away all that was 
virile and spirited in its ranks. The trimmers and nonentities 
had survived. The women, long since deprived of the iron 
control which had kept them in order under the old system of 
the Roman family, dominated society with an influence that 



was generally evil. The Roman boudoir with its throng of 
slaves and parasites was not only profligate, but it had already 
begun to produce the type of murderous intriguers which we 
meet more prominently in the Messalinas and Faustinas of 
imperial history. But as there were virtuous exceptions like 
Octavia and Agrippina among the women, so there were 
among the men a few nobles of probity and honour who had 
somehow, probably by hiding themselves away on their country 
estates, survived all the conflicts of the past generation. But 
these, who read Roman history in the same light as Livy, were 
lovers of the old regime, suspicious and bitterly jealous of 
the new. We have seen that one of the first official acts of 
Augustus was to restore the patriciate. But it is easier to 
make peers than patricians, and we may be sure that there was 
little love between the old aristocracy and the new. Augustus 
himself, though the "son of the god Julius" and descended 
through his mother from Venus and Anchises, was on the 
father's side only just respectable. By nature and instinct, 
however, he was an aristocrat. All his life long he strove to 
win over the aristocracy to the support of his regime. But 
he failed, and failed disastrously. Whence throughout the 
history of the Empire we have in existence more or less pro- 
minently a conservative opposition of old nobles, genuine or 
spurious, sometimes plotting manfully and dying nobly, but 
more often sneering and writing in secret against the emperors. 
But most of the old aristocracy lacked the spirit to oppose 
Augustus. The few plots which came to light were con- 
temptible affairs. Some of the nobles came down to the senate 
and devoted their intellects to the choice of a new cognomen 
for the new Csesar, or vied with one another in proposing fresh 
titles of honour for him. But they soon discovered that 
flattery was not very lucrative in the face of their chilly and 
statuesque master. Politics at Rome had lost their savour 
when there was no chance of blood to follow. The noble 
senators had to be coerced into attending at the curia; they 
devoted their gifts to drawing-room battles, they collected objets 






de luxe, they wrote bad verses and sometimes bad histories, and 
they practised all the vices. They had no religion and very 
little philosophy. Above all the old Roman family upon which 
the piers of Roman society had rested was now in ruins. To 
be the husband of one wife from marriage to death was, so far as 
the records go, a rare exception. This was no innovation of the 
Empire. For a century or more men had changed their wives 
every few 'years for the sake of a fortune or a political alliance. 

Augustus set before himself, as one of the most important 
phases of his task of regeneration, the moral purification of 
this society. He had provided the provinces with a new 
religion which involved a new social organisation. But the 
cloak of republicanism in which he had chosen to drape his 
autocracy forbade him to make himself a god in Rome. On 
the contrary he steadily forbade extravagant flattery. He was 
not even to be called " dominus." It is true that the mayors 
of the new boroughs into which he divided Rome were allowed 
to set up altars to the Lares and Genius of Augustus.* Outside 
the city throughout Italy there were temples to Augustus and 
priests in his service. As usual it was a mere quibble when 
he declined divine honours in Rome. Vergil had plainly 
called him a god at the very moment when he was dyeing his 
hands in Roman blood. Julius Caesar had been formally 
deified and Augustus regularly styled himself "divi filius." 
The title of "augustus" itself carried the notion of tran- 
scendent power. Thus the emperor stood on the threshold of 
heaven, at any rate for the poorer classes, even in Rome itself. 
But for the aristocracy something else was needed: it is of 
little profit to claim divinity in a society of atheists. For 
Roman society, as typified by Ovid, the gods were little more 
than a literary convention, and it would do a respectable man 
little credit to be enrolled in their company. 

For the reformation of Roman society Augustus had 
recourse to three methods legislation, culture, and example. 
The legislation consisted of a whole series of laws solemnly 

* Plate 35, Fig. i. 

P 225 


passed through senate and comitia in the years 18 and 17 B.C. 
To give them additional sanctity they were called Julian laws. 
There was one enacting heavier penalties for adultery, another 
permitting marriage between citizens and freedwomen, designed 
to meet the circumstance that men outnumbered women in the 
ranks of the aristocracy. There were also sumptuary laws to 
curb extravagance. There were laws imposing penalties on 
celibacy and discouraging the fortune-hunters who lay in wait 
for the rich bachelor's legacies. Fiscal privileges were granted 
to the fathers of families, and Augustus himself went down to 
the house and read the senate an old speech of Metellus on 
the increase of population. Unfortunately the emperor himself 
had not set a good example in the matter of parentage. He 
had had three wives but only one child, a daughter. Still he 
exhibited himself in the theatre in the capacity of a father by 
collecting the children of Germanicus about his knees. Of 
course legislation proved quite helpless in the matter, besides 
arousing a good deal of ill-feeling which was chiefly displayed 
in the ranks of the knights. 

Augustus was in a very difficult position when it came to 
setting an example. The principal evils which his social code 
was designed to remedy were the prevalence of adultery, the 
frequency of divorce, voluntary celibacy and formal marriages 
contracted without intention of producing offspring, and finally, 
as a consequence of celibacy, the prevalence of a regular pro- 
fession of fortune-hunting. There was scarcely one of these 
necessary reforms to which Caesar himself came with clean 
hands. He had begun his matrimonial career by repudiating 
his young betrothed ; he had then married an immature virgin, 
and divorced her for political reasons before the marriage was 
consummated; in the third place he had married Scribonia, 
who had already had two husbands, and whose son was already 
a man at the time of her marriage to Augustus. She was many 
years older than he, and the marriage was intended to secure 
a reconciliation with Sextus Pompeius. This third matrimonial 
venture was terminated in a manner which shocked even 


Roman society. On the very day when Scribonia became a 
mother by him, Augustus put her away charging her with 
immorality, though he kept her infant Julia as his own and 
only child. He had been fascinated, it seems, by the fair face 
and brilliant abilities of Livia Drusilla. Livia was of the 
highest ancestry in Rome, a descendant of Appius Claudius, 
and attached by adoption to another very noble family, the 
Livii. Also she had married another scion of the illustrious 
Claudian house, the proudest in Rome, and at the age of fifteen 
had become the mother of Tiberius. Her father had chosen 
the losing side at Philippi, and committed suicide after the 
battle. Her husband, Claudius Nero, had taken arms against 
Augustus or Octavian, as he then was in the Perusine 
War, and his life was forfeited. His beautiful wife sued the 
conqueror for mercy, and mercy was granted upon conditions. 
Nero was compelled not only to divorce his wife, but to act the 
part of a father and give her away in marriage to Augustus. 
She was then not only the mother of Tiberius, but just about 
to become the mother of Drusus, who was born in the house 
of Augustus three months after the marriage. This, then, was 
the model family on the Palatine which was to set an example 
to the Roman aristocracy a daughter whose mother had been 
divorced on the day of her birth, a mother who had been sold 
by her husband, and two stepsons whose father had been 
divorced. The sequel scarcely improved matters. Julia grew 
up and was married first to the boy Marcellus, then to Agrippa, 
by whom she had a large family, and when Agrippa died, 
Tiberius was forced to put away his wife, Agrippa's daughter 
Vipsania, whom he really loved, and marry the widow Julia, 
whose immorality he knew and detested. At last the profligacy 
of Julia grew so open and notorious that Augustus was in- 
formed of it and compelled to banish her in company with her 
mother Scribonia, who had survived to see her shame. Later 
on a second Julia, the daughter of the first, suffered a precisely 
similar fate. 

As for Livia the empress, if we choose to call her by that 



title, there is no doubt that she was a singularly beautiful and 
clever woman, who managed to retain the affections of Augustus 
for over forty years in itself a remarkable feat in Roman 
society. History records in her favour many acts of royal 
mercy and charity. She seconded her husband's efforts at 
reform, and established a powerful ascendancy over him and 
over Tiberius. There is no whisper against her chastity when 
once she entered the household of Augustus. But on the other 
hand there are very serious charges of crime made by contem- 
poraries and recorded by Tacitus, charges which are supported 
by the strongest circumstantial evidence. The suspicion is that 
she was fighting all her life long without remorse or scruple for 
the succession of her son Tiberius. Augustus did not intend 
to be succeeded by a Claudius. This he showed again and 
again in the most public manner. His aim, as soon as he knew 
that he was destined to leave no male offspring of his own body, 
was to leave the succession in the sacred Julian line, the family 
descended from Venus, the house of the star. But that could 
only be secured through the female line. His first choice was 
the brilliant young Marcellus, son of his sister Octavia. 
Marcellus, who had been the first husband of Julia, died of a 
mysterious complaint just as he came of age. Then Augustus 
married Julia to Agrippa, and two of her sons, Gaius and 
Lucius, were next chosen for the succession. They grew up 
and came of age. Just as they were beginning public life, 
Tiberius having been banished to make way for them, they too 
died in the same year, Lucius on board ship as he was sailing 
to Marseilles, Gaius as the sequel to an assassin's blow given 
him in Armenia. In the first case we have no details. In the 
second, Gaius was recovering from his wound, but he turned 
aside to an obscure town on the southern coast of Asia Minor, 
refused the warship which had been sent to convey him home, 
and begged to be allowed to live there in obscurity. The 
circumstance is full of suspicion and mystery. Moreover, 
before his rivals were dead Tiberius had word, from a well- 
informed prophet, of their approaching decease, and returned to 


Rome. He himself, living in banishment, must be acquitted 
of active complicity in the crime. Julia was banished to a 
lonely island. Her third son was also put out of sight for no 
crime but sulkiness and grumbling against his stepmother. 
Deprived of all his hopes, Augustus with very marked re- 
luctance adopted Tiberius, but in his old age he still cherished 
the idea of a reconciliation with Julia's third son, Agrippa 
Postumus, and actually visited in secret the remote island 
where he was interned. But as soon as Augustus was dead 
and his death was carefully concealed as long as possible 
Agrippa Postumus was murdered, and this time we have direct 
evidence that the crime was Livia's. This sort of domestic 
intrigue, marked by hideous murders, is one of the blackest 
features of imperial history at Rome. It arose very largely 
from the illegitimate character of the imperial throne, and the 
absence of any legalised system of succession. 

Nevertheless, out of these unpromising materials Augustus 
endeavoured to organise a model Roman family of the old 
style. Livia and Julia were set to work at spinning and 
weaving. Augustus would wear no cloaks but of their making. 
Julia was solemnly counselled never to do or say anything 
which she would be ashamed to write in her diary. Once when 
she built a palace for herself Augustus had it demolished. The 
house on the Palatine was of the simplest character, with a 
humble portico of the local tufa from Alba and no decorated 
pavements. In food and drink he was most abstemious, and 
indeed the prodigious industry of his life left little time for 
banquets. A slice of bread made from inferior flour, with a 
relish of pickled fish or dates or olives, often served him for 
the day. He never drank more than a pint of wine. He slept 
winter and summer in the same room, and spent most of the 
year in the city, unless he was travelling. His favourite 
country seat was on the island of Capri where he could be sure 
of freedom. His pleasures were simple and almost childish. 
He liked a little mild gambling, he was fond of playing 
knuckle-bones with little slave-boys. He attended the circus 



as a matter of duty and was very strict in enforcing decency of 
behaviour there. He set his face against changes of fashion 
and insisted that Roman citizens should wear the old-fashioned 
toga in public. All his instincts seem to have been for 
simplicity and clemency. He never permitted a freedman to 
appear at his dinner-table, but when a slave of his once pushed 
his master into the way of a charging wild boar in order to 
shield himself Augustus dismissed the matter with a joke. On 
the other hand, when the tutor and servants of Gaius showed 
themselves tyrannical and overbearing to the provincials after 
their young master's death, Caesar had them drowned like rats. 
Towards personal abuse of himself he was singularly indifferent. 
It remains difficult to visualise the character of Augustus. 
Originally he was a typical Roman, as callous towards blood- 
shed and suffering as the rest of them and quite unscrupulous 
in his progress towards power. But when he had attained it 
he had the greatness of mind to perceive that his work of 
repair could only be done by setting an example of virtuous 
living and moderation. Self-control was perhaps his most 
powerful quality. 

Twice his self-command broke down. Once when he heard 
of the defeat of Varus in Germany with the loss of his three 
legions, and again when some one, probably Livia, revealed to 
him the scandal concerning Julia. Apart from the blow to his 
honour as a man, it was the undoing of all his measures for 
reform and the open publication of their futility. " Her orgies," 
men said, "had been conducted upon the very rostra whence 
her father's laws against adultery had been proclaimed." Her 
accomplices included the flower of the old aristocracy, a Scipio 
and a Gracchus. Augustus hid himself from the sight of men, 
banished his daughter to a remote island and officially informed 
the senate by letter of her disgrace. He was heard to cry out 
that he envied the father of Phcebe, one of Julia's slaves who 
had hanged herself when the scandal went abroad. He quoted 
a Greek verse : 

"O that I had been unwedded and died without a child," 



and he spoke of his wicked daughter as the cancer of his 

Legislation was obviously futile, and example had broken 
down. It was only from within that Roman society could be 
reformed, only by supplying a spiritual influence which could 
counteract the materialism and immorality of the day. 
Augustus had tried in the provinces to raise up a new religion 
of loyalty and patriotism centred round the altar "to Rome 
and Augustus." But that was obviously impossible in Rome 
itself. The only inspiring motive in addition to Stoicism 
which could never be a popular creed had been, for the last 
two or three centuries, patriotism, the worship of the sacred 
city and her glorious destinies. But even that had been 
shattered by the civil wars. Augustus now set himself 
deliberately to the task of creating a new Rome and a new 
Roman culture. He himself, like most of the nobles of his 
day, had received a Greek education. It was what we should 
call a good classical education in philosophy, literature, and 
rhetoric. Besides that he had been initiated into the 
Eleusinian mysteries at Athens, and they were probably the 
most powerful source of inspiration in the Mediterranean world, 
for even eclectics like Cicero admitted that they carried with 
them a hope of immortality. Augustus was himself deeply 
imbued with Greek culture and like most Roman nobles had 
dabbled in literature. Thus it is not surprising that the type 
of civilisation which he fostered in the new Rome was quite as 
much Greek as Italian. The age of Augustus was in fact the 
culmination of Graeco-Roman culture alike in arts and letters 
because the fusion between the two races was now complete. 

Elsewhere I have ventured to rebel against the current 
practice in history of subordinating the arts to politics and 
declaring that artistic production depends upon political facts. 
It is not so. Literary and artistic results are due to literary 
and artistic causes. The Roman literary language had only 
just attained perfection. Cicero had perfected it for prose, and 
it only remained for poetry to produce a Vergil. Everybody 



at Rome from Augustus downwards was busily writing hexa- 
meters in his spare time, and the recitals which were given at 
every dinner-party formed one of the social inflictions of the 
day. Just as Julius Caesar and Cicero had thrown off their 
epics, so the great men of the succeeding age were poets 
Augustus, Pollio, Maecenas, Gallus, and all of them except 
Agrippa. But alongside of these distinguished amateurs, pro- 
fessional literary men of humble birth were now coming to the 
front. Vergil and Horace are not originally the products of 
the Augustan age, for they were both established poets before 
it began. But the conditions of art at Rome were such that a 
professional man of letters depended very closely upon a patron. 
That was the tradition handed on from the days of Plautus, 
when the writers had nearly always been foreign slaves or 
clients. Cicero, Caesar, Lucretius, and Catullus had not been 
of the client class. They had flourished in that brief interval 
when it still seemed possible for Rome to develop a genuine 
free literature of her own. But that possibility had been killed 
like so many other hopes by the civil wars, and now the 
choice lay mainly between distinguished scribblers or obsequious 
literary craftsmen. Thus we get a second courtly period of 
literature like that of the Ptolemies at Alexandria, like that of 
Louis XIV. or of our own Stuart age when poets wrote to 
please individual patrons. The patron, if he be a man of taste, 
generally demands a very high degree of finish, and thus it is 
the courtly ages which produce the finished craftsmanship. It 
may be remarked that the ages of private patronage have given 
the world much of its greatest literature. 

In the age of Augustus there was no censorship of letters 
such as generally prevailed under the stricter emperors of later 
days. Livy was permitted to publish his great history without 
curtailment of its strong republican tendency. When libels 
and pasquinades appeared against Caesar he was content to con- 
tradict them in a proclamation. Nevertheless he made his 
influence weightily felt in the world of letters. He gave more 
than ; 1 0,000 to Varius for a tragedy which posterity has not 

"-.. "... 

^:r*^:> : ,. 



thought worth while to preserve. He was himself a kindly and 
patient listener at the recitation of poems and history, speeches 
and dialogues, which formed the usual mode of first publication 
in those days. He only insisted that his own deeds should not 
form the subject of trivial composition by inferior authors. 
Horace appears at first to have been warned off from treatment 
of imperial politics. Vergil too in his early days received a 
hint not to sing of wars and kings. But later on both these 
writers were explicitly enlisted in the service of the state. In 
this part of the work Maecenas was the emperor's chief agent. 
Maecenas, whose name has come to symbolise literary patronage, 
was a wealthy noble of an old Etruscan family who was con- 
tent, like Cicero's friend Atticus, to pull the wires of state 
largely by keeping generous hospitality and knowing all the 
important characters of his day. Luxurious and effeminate in 
his tastes, he gathered a group of talented authors round his 
table, and very distinctly suggested to them the lines upon which 
he desired them to work. Vergil, Varius, Horace, and Propertius 
were members of his salon. Another noble of high lineage, 
M. Valerius Messalla, maintained a rival coterie whose most 
prominent member was the elegiac poet Tibullus. Vergil, a 
half-Italian native of Mantua, who was not even a citizen by 
birth, had sprung into fame with his Bucolics, a series of 
pastoral idylls in the style of Theocritus. But though he was 
a provincial by birth, though he writes of shepherds and sings 
pathetically of his ancestral farm, nothing is more untrue than 
to regard him as a son of the soil, or an inspired ploughboy 
after the manner of Robert Burns. On the contrary he had 
received an elaborate education in the style of the day under 
Greek masters at Cremona, Milan, and Rome. He was steeped 
in Greek philosophy and letters. His shepherds are not the 
unsophisticated rustics of the Mantuan plain. They are shep- 
herds "a la Watteau," borrowed from the pages of Theocritus, 
and though many a brilliant epithet displays the Italian's loving 
observation of nature, the background of the work is artificial 
and literary rather than rustic or natural. His shepherds, like 



Sidney's, talk politics under a transparent disguise, which is 
often extremely incongruous. They are often engaged in 
praising Gallus or Varus or Pollio, the young poet's patrons. 
It was the success of the Bucolics which' led Maecenas to choose 
Vergil for carrying out an important literary project. A poet 
was required to sing the praises of country life in such a manner 
as to encourage the movement "back to the land," which 
Augustus was trying to foster. In his Georgics Vergil frankly 
admits that he is fulfilling the " hard commands " of Maecenas. 
The Georgics are a treatise on husbandry, but here again it is 
not first-hand work. We are informed that Vergil's poetry had 
regained him his paternal farm at Mantua. But the Georgics 
were not written on the farm. They were diligently composed in 
a library at Naples. They arose from the study of Aratus and 
Hesiod, not from memory of Italian life, and even in those 
gorgeous passages where Vergil is praising a country life, it is 
not of the Italian farm that he is thinking but of literary 
hills and dells in Greece. I think it is clear that the poet took 
little pleasure in his task. He very gladly digresses from the 
description of soils and mattocks to tell us a charming piece 
of Greek mythology or to introduce a literary reference. 
Octavian had been a " powerful god " already in the Eclogues 
before he became Augustus. Now the only question is which 
of the stars shall receive him after death. "Already the 
blazing Scorpion contracts his arms and leaves thee more than 
a fair share of heaven." Vergil pauses to depict the triumph of 
Augustus Nile flowing with blood, Asia tamed, the Niphates 
driven back, the Parthian conquered. No literary catchword 
was ever more absurd than the phrase "rustic of genius" 
applied to Vergil. As soon as he had the means, he gladly 
turned his back upon his ancestral farm to become a student 
and a courtier. Nevertheless Maecenas was magnificently 
served. Vergil had already forged a weapon of matchless 
music and eloquence in his surging hexameters, and he used it 
to depict the honest joys of rustic toil, the laborious tranquillity 
of the farm, the beauty and interest of nature. He was 










instantly recognised by Augustus as the destined laureate of 
the new Rome. 

The j*Eneid was solemnly devoted to the altar of Rome and 
Augustus. Homer was the Greek model here, as Theocritus 
had been for the Bucolics and Hesiod for the Georgics. The 
origin of Rome was to be linked on to the Trojan story as had 
already been done by the inventive Greeks. /Eneas had fled 
from Troy to Italy, and had left his son Julus (the eponymous 
hero of the Julian house) to found an heroic kingdom in Italy 
long before the genuine Roman heroes. Thus the humble 
native story of Romulus was superseded. Piety was to be the 
great virtue honoured by this poem, for piety towards the 
memory of Julius Ceesar was the principal title upon which 
Augustus rested his claim to honour. There were other 
analogies, perhaps. Dido most probably suggested Cleopatra 
to the Roman reader. But it is.^to the praise of Rome, to the 
glorification of that sense of filial duty which the Romans called 
" piety " that the great epic is mainly devoted. Here again, 
though the eloquence is so splendid and the versification so 
majestic, the s&neid like its predecessors is a work of the 
study quite clearly written to order. The plot is carelessly con- 
structed. /Eneas himself, with all his piety, never for a moment 
lives. The religious motives which led to his desertion of 
Dido barely satisfy us. /Eneas makes the speeches, and the 
gods continually intervene when danger threatens him. Our 
sympathies are generally with the enemy, with Turnus or Camilla. 
/Eneas is as chilly and statuesque as Augustus himself. 

It is in the famous Sixth Book, which tells of the descent 
to Hades, that the praise of Rome is most elegant and most 
explicit. Here we are shown the heroes of Roman history side 
by side with the heroes of the Greeks, and here the young 
Marcellus, lately dead, is introduced in those immortal and 
touching lines which caused Octavia his mother to swoon when 
the poet recited them. Here too the poet pronounces in very 
significant language the Roman idea of the destiny of his 

2 35 


excudent alii spirantia mollius sera, 
credo equidem, uiuos ducent de marmore uoltus, 
orabunt causas melius, caelique meatus 
describent radio, et surgentia sidera dicent : 
tu regere imperio populos, Romane, memento ; 
hae tibi erunt artes, pacisque imponere morem, 
parcere subiectis, et debellare superbos. 

" Others shall mould, I doubt not, the breathing bronze more 
delicately and draw the living features out of marble, others 
shall plead causes more eloquently, map out the wanderings of 
the sky with the rod, and tell the risings of the stars. Thou, 
Roman, forget not to govern the nations under thy sway. 
These shall be thy arts : to impose the rule of peace, to spare 
the subject, and defeat the proud." In these lines we hear the 
proud Philistinism of an imperial people. This is the genuine 
Roman (dare I add " British " ?) attitude towards the arts and 
sciences. They are for others to provide, for Greeks and 
Egyptians. Even oratory, the highest achievement of the 
Roman genius in literature, is thus scornfully thrown to the 
foreigner. The Romans knew that they could buy or seize 
better statues than they could carve : their task was to conquer 
and govern not an ignoble art. 

The sEneid is explicitly a national laureate poem. The 
poet seeks to enshrine all Roman life in his pages, to epitomise 
Roman history and to introduce allusions to characteristic 
pieces of myth and ritual. He inserts whole lines of Ennius 
or Lucretius when they please him. They are superseded and 
replaced. Just like Dryden, he feels that he is the heir of the 
ages. The extraordinary popularity which Vergil attained 
even in his own lifetime grew in the course of a few centuries 
almost into a cult. His tomb became an object of pilgrimage ; 
in early Christian times he became a prophet and in the Middle 
Ages a wizard. The gentleness and purity of his personal life 
played their part in the creation of this strange Vergilian legend. 

Horace had less of the courtier's suppleness and required 
winning to the imperial cause. It took two efforts of Maecenas 



to secure him and we have letters preserved in which Augustus 
very good-humouredly confesses his disappointment that Horace 
has refused a secretaryship. Horace was the son of a freedman, 
as he was not in the least ashamed to confess. But his father 
had managed to secure for Quintus the education of a gentle- 
man under Greek teachers in Rome, himself attending the boy 
to school in place of the rascally pedagogue slaves who usually 
undertook that office. Horace had further enjoyed a University 
education at Athens, where he had fallen under the spell of 
Brutus, for whom he fought at Philippi. He was, and remained, 
a Republican by instinct, but Maecenas won him over to the 
cause of Caesarism. He made his reputation with the Satires, 
a species of composition which may be termed truly Italian. 
The satire is a conversational medley written in the language 
of prose with the rhythm of poetry. In this Horace was 
imitating the old Roman master Lucilius. It is much to the 
credit of his critical discernment that Maecenas was able to 
descry the brilliant abilities of Horace in this very uninspiring 
medium. For though his Satires were sometimes bitterly 
satirical in the modern sense of the word, Horace's chief literary 
asset was the charm of a sunny, genial character. He had in 
addition a gift for composition and an industry which brought 
him almost but not quite to the level of original genius. It 
seems to have been Maecenas who set him to the writing of 
lyrical odes. Biting satires might have been the most effective 
literary weapon in republican days, but the glorification of the 
new regime required something of a loftier strain. Vergil was 
engaged upon its epic, Horace was instructed to write its 
occasional verse. The Greek lyrists of the older period had 
as yet remained unimitated in Latin. Accordingly just as 
when the young Vergil had wanted to sing of kings and 
battles " Apollo had plucked his ear and admonished him that 
a shepherd should feed fatjsheep and sing a slender song," so 
Horace was deliberately set down to the task of celebrating the 
new Rome in the style of Sappho and Alcaeus and Anacreon. 
That he accomplished his task so superbly is a proof of his 



energy and versatility. He himself, a gentle valetudinarian 
whose idea of a banquet was a mess of cabbage and pot-herbs, 
had to strike the lyre of revelry and sing of wine and love. 
He sang without conviction, without a spark of Sapphic fire or 
a note of natural music, but the noble rhetoric of the Roman 
schools in the golden age supported him. He laboured for the 
right word never in vain. No writer has ever equalled his 
matchless gift for making truisms sound true. No other 
writer has been able to assert that " it is sweet and comely to 
die for the fatherland," or that " life is short " with an equal 
air of genuine wisdom. Latin with its terse precision is the 
ideal language for the expression of platitudes. His patriotic 
eloquence is Roman rhetoric of the best kind. But perhaps 
his real strength lies in drama. It is strange that Latin of the 
classical period failed at producing a native drama so completely 
as it did. Perhaps it was because the writers of that age were 
so completely under Greek influences that their natural Italian 
genius for the theatre was stifled under the load of a classical 
convention. Certainly Horace had the gift, and in such passages 
as the dramatic duologue (Ode ix. of Book III.) Donee gratiis 
eram tibi, or the Epode of the witches (v.) At, o deortim, or the 
still more famous Epistle about the bore, he exhibits himself, 
like Browning, as a dramatist gone astray. Regarded from 
the purely lyrical point of view, the Century Hymn, which he 
wrote to order as Rome's laureate in succession to Vergil, is 
perhaps his greatest achievement. The Secular Games of 
17 B.C. were intended to bring visibly before men's eyes the 
glories of the new monarchy and incidentally to carry in their 
train the salutary but unpopular measures of the Julian moral 
reform. So the choir of noble youths and maidens were taught 
to sing in their prayer to Diana: 

diua, producas subolem patrumque 
prosperes decreta super iugandis 
feminis prolisque nouae feraci 
lege marita,* 

* Carmen Seculare, 17-20. 



where the goddess is besought to increase the population of 
Rome and favour the senate's decrees about marriage. The 
fourth book of the Odes was added after a long interval at the 
direct request of Augustus. It is intended to bring the 
achievements of Augustus and his family, particularly the 
triumphs of Tiberius and Drusus, into favourable comparison 
with the heroic stories of republican history. It is most 
melancholy to observe that Maecenas, to whom Horace was 
genuinely attached and whose name constantly occurs in his 
earlier writings, here drops out of the poet's verse because he 
had fallen out of Caesar's favour. 

Although Horace is in his Odes as classical and conventional 
as all the Roman writers of his age, his Satires and Epistles 
are more intimate than any other Latin work of the great period. 
In them we get real glimpses of life at Rome, or on a country 
estate. We cannot fail to be struck with its idleness and 
emptiness. In the city he saunters from the forum to the baths, 
from the baths to the dinner-table with time and boredom for 
his only enemies. In the country he sometimes, it is true, toys 
with husbandry, or shows a faint interest in landscape-gardening 
or loiters among his books, but the life is to the last degree 
super-civilised and unreal. The very ideas of hope and 
progress were alien to the ancient world. The eyes of the 
Romans were always turned behind them, so that they could 
not see the greatness of the vista that was now opening for 
them in front. 

The elegists such as the graceful melancholy Tibullus, or 
Propertius, the pedant who often stumbled into poetry, and a 
host of others who are mere names to us would hardly, but 
for their prominence in the schoolroom, deserve serious 
attention. Callimachus the Alexandrian was their model, 
himself scarcely a first-rate poet. The whole idea of writing 
love poetry in an absolutely regular distich of hexameter and 
pentameter was inartistic and unreal. Their fluent prolixity 
makes them insufferably tedious out of school. It is difficult 
to sustain interest in the relations between the bards and the 



married ladies with Greek pseudonyms to whom their verses 
are addressed. From our point of view the chief interest in 
these writers lies in the fact that nearly all of them were at one 
time or another invited to praise the new regime. Tibullus, 
indeed, who enjoyed a modest competence of his own, limits 
his praises to his immediate patron Messalla, and frankly 
admits that war and battles disgust him. But Propertius 
makes an attempt to carry out his commission, and describes 
the battle of Actium fifteen years after its occurrence. But 
though he invites Bacchus to assist his Muse, it is wretched 
stuff and the poet himself turns from it with disgust. The 
famous elegy upon Cornelia, daughter of the injured Scribonia, 
beginning desine, Paulle, meum lacrimis urgere sepulcrum, is 
however sufficient proof that it was only the want of a really 
inspiring theme and a suitable medium which prevented 
Propertius from being in the front rank of the world's poets. 

Ovid, " this incorrigibly immoral but inexpressibly graceful 
poet" as Mr. Cruttwell called him, is a far more interesting 
personality. I think he may fairly be called the wickedest 
writer on the world's bookshelves. Others may be wicked 
through ignorance, or by accident, or out of high animal spirits, 
but Ovid is immoral on principle, a conscientious and industrious 
perverter. His greatest work, "The Art of Loving," is quite 
frankly a guide to adultery, the precepts it contains being 
perfectly practical and evidently based on expert knowledge. 
In his Amores, Metamorphoses, and Fasti he took for his field 
the domain of religion and exhibited celestial sin in the most 
captivating light. We have already seen how the loves of 
the gods came to take their place in the Olympian mythology, 
and how thinking pagans like Plato regarded them. To such 
men they were already relics of barbarism, but Ovid draws 
them out into the light again, gilds them with his wit and 
makes them altogether charming for the Roman drawing-room. 
The strange and uncouth old ritual of Italian nature-worship 
is piquantly dressed out for the up-to-date blasphemer. No- 
body who had read Ovid could possibly worship Jupiter any 

p. Mo A 










-| s . 



more. It was all done with consummate art and unblushing 
impudence. When the sad Niobe is bereft of her seven fair 
children by the arrows of the jealous gods, our poet, ingeniously 
parodying Vergil, observes : 

heu quantum haec Niobe, Niobe distabat ab ilia. 

In telling the dreadful tragedy whereby the Greeks had ex- 
plained the sorrow of Philomela, the nightingale, our poet 
cheerfully describes the slaughter of the children, adding : 

pars inde cauis exultat aenis, 
pars ueribus stridunt. 

And so he moves from one lovely myth to another, preserving 
them indeed for our archaeologists, but delicately with the 
breath of his profanity defiling them for ever. 

Now Ovid is far more typical of the civilisation of his day 
than either Vergil or Horace. For Ovid was a Roman noble, 
rich and gifted, who in earlier days would have passed 
creditably from one high office to another in the state, humorously 
plundering a province or two, gracefully collecting objects of 
art in Asia and possibly losing a battle or two through 
negligence. He actually started on a public career as a 
brilliant barrister, and enjoyed the ancient office of decemvir 
stlitibus iudicandis, something like our Masters in Chancery. 
But the Roman drawing-rooms soon swallowed him up in their 
silken entanglements, and he spent the greater part of his life 
whispering his poisonous little pentameters to ladies like Julia. 
Of course a single poet with Ovid's sinister gifts was doing 
far more to corrupt Rome than all the Julian legislation could 
do to reform it, and we may fairly conclude that Ovid with his 
attacks on the traditional Roman morality and religion, together 
with effeminate bards like Tibullus who sang of the horrors of 
war, were more than undoing the patriotic work of Vergil and 
Horace. The plain fact is that though you may hire writers 
you cannot purchase the spirit of a people, and so Augustus 
and Maecenas found, to the great misfortune of the Roman 
Empire. They failed in their attempt to capture literature. 

Q 241 


Oppression failed even more signally than corruption. Hence- 
forth all the literary talent of Rome is on the opposition side. 
Lucan extols republicanism, Tacitus assails the emperors with 
satirical history, Petronius pillories Nero with satirical romance, 
Juvenal with satirical poetry. Only the younger Pliny is loyal, 
and to be praised by Pliny is a very doubtful recommendation. 
Roman literature had imbibed the republican ideals from its 
Greek foster-mother. The schoolmasters of Rome continued 
to teach their pupils to declaim against tyrants. 

But Ovid himself was not permitted to flourish in his 
wickedness. A sudden decree from Caesar Augustus fell upon 
him like a thunderbolt. He was banished for ever and bidden 
to betake himself to Tomi, on the Black Sea, near the mouth 
of the Danube. From that inhospitable region he continued to 
pour forth elegiacs, Epistles and Tristia, wherein he protests 
his innocence, recants anything and everything he has ever 
said, and bewails the horrors of arctic existence among the 
barbarians. The actual cause of his banishment is one of the 
most piquant mysteries in literary history. He has seen some- 
thing which he ought not to have seen : his eyes have destroyed 
him. It is fairly clear that his banishment synchronised with 
the banishment of the younger Julia, and we may well believe 
that the old emperor, shocked and horrified by this second 
scandal in his own house, attributed it to the corrupting in- 
fluence of that singer of gilded sins. The banishment was 
certainly well merited and the only pity is that it came too late 
to effect its purpose. The unmanly tone of the Tristia, the 
effeminate appeals to everybody in Rome including a hitherto 
forgotten wife, reveal Ovid in his true character. It is a little 
strange that generations of British youth have been trained not 
only in the study but even in the imitation of this author. 

When we term the Golden Age of Roman literature 
"Augustan" we ought to remember that it began long before 
Augustus and ended before his death. Thus with all his 
patronage he may more justly be called the finisher than the 
author of it. Of all the great writers, only Ovid, to whom the 


simple life and bracing air of the Sarmatians afforded an unusual 
longevity, outlived Augustus. Summing up the characteristics 
of the literature of this day, we may say that courtliness and 
artificiality were its most prominent characteristics. The 
freshness of Catullus, the stern conviction of Lucretius, the fire 
of Cicero were extinct. Nearly all that was native in Roman 
letters had perished ; only the crispness of epigram, the bite of 
satire and the dignified music of the language itself remained 
as the Italian heritage. Greece had quite definitely triumphed 
over Rome. Technical excellence continued, for this has 
always been the mark of " Augustan " periods. But the well- 
meant efforts of the state to capture literature for its own 
service had failed. The horrors of the civil war outweighed 
the glories of the new regime and with all his benevolence the 
emperor could never outlive the memory of his proscriptions. 
Literature never forgave the murder of Cicero though the 
author of Thyestes might be loaded with treasure. Indeed the 
widespread misery of those terrible days in 40 B.C. came home 
personally to most of our middle-class writers. Vergil, Horace, 
Tibullus, and Propertius had each and all received ineffaceable 
memories in the loss of their patrimonies. It was little wonder 
that even though they sang of wars and victories when 
"Cynthius plucked their ear" their natural instinct was to 
compare Mars and Venus very much to the disadvantage of 
the former. 

When we turn to consider the Art of the period, we must 
not forget to carry with us the light that we have obtained 
from the study of its literature. For Augustus and his assist- 
ants were attempting precisely similar ends in both regions. 
With temples, baths, circuses, amphitheatres, colonnades, 
libraries, and statues the new regime was to flourish its magni- 
ficence in the eyes of the world and, above all, to dazzle the 
citizens of Rome, fill up the emptiness of their lives, and make 
them forget, if it were possible, the magnitude of their loss. 
Money was lavished upon this object by the emperor and all his 
friends, and the building activity which transformed Rome 



from a city of brick into a city of marble must have given 
work and pay to vast numbers of the poor. But the magnifi- 
cence has all perished, as all magnificence must, and it is left 
for us by the study of a few ruined monuments, a few statues 
and busts, an altar here, a cornice there, to estimate the spirit 
of Rome in conformity with its literature. 

Roman art supplied much of their inspiration to the artists 
of the Renaissance. Michael Angelo and Raphael learnt their 
art by copying the antiquities, and much of the Renaissance 
architecture was direct imitation of the Augustan age. But 
with the birth of archaeology as a science in the nineteenth 
century, scholars became accustomed to leap straight over the 
Roman era, or to regard it merely as a phase of the Hellenistic 
decline. From that view, undoubtedly erroneous and unjust, 
there has latterly been an attempt to escape. Wickhoff and 
Riegl, whose foremost interpreter in this country is Mrs. 
Strong, have argued that Roman art has an existence per se, 
not only possessing characteristic excellences of its own, but in 
many points transcending the limits of Greek art. To such 
pioneers we owe a deep debt of gratitude. They have undoubtedly 
drawn our attention to real merits and real steps of progress in 
the art of the Romans. But on the whole they have failed, 
as it seems to an onlooker, to prove their case. Partly it is in 
the long run a question of taste. A convinced Romanist like 
Mrs. Strong displays for our admiration many works of art 
which trained eyes, accustomed to Greek and modern art, 
often refuse to admire. I would take as an instance the well- 
known " Tellus Group," a slab from the Augustan Altar of 
Peace,* preserved in the Uffizi Gallery at Florence. To me it 
seems a laborious composition, executed with care and skill, 
but wholly without inspiration or imagination. It is purely 
conventional allegory. How would the designer of an illu- 
minated ticket for an agricultural exhibition depict Mother 
Earth ? He would design a group (would he not ?) with a tall 
and richly bosomed lady for his central figure, he would put 

* Plate 36. 




two naked babes upon her lap, at her feet would be a cow 
and a sheep, while the background would be filled with flowers 
and trees. The cornucopia would occupy a prominent position. 
If he were asked to fill his space with additional figures, 
he would throw in Air and Water, one on each side, designed 
on the same plan. There would be little motive in the group, 
little connection between the figures. The designer's aim 
would be that the spectator in a casual glance might observe 
the fitness of it all Earth sitting between Air and Water 
note it, and pass on. This is just what the Roman artist has 
done. He has earned his money. He has carved most skil- 
fully and diligently, he has introduced all the conventional 
emblems. He has drawn his metaphor from stock. I cannot 
see that he has put any love or religion or indeed faith of any 
kind into his work. The only thing my eye cares to dwell 
upon is the absurdity of Air, who is riding (backwards) on a 
wholly inadequate swan, pretending to form one of a group with 
the immovably seated Earth. This then is the first point of criti- 
cism against the Romanists. I have put it as a mere subjective 
impression, which involves simply a question of taste. But in 
reality it is more. They are failing or have failed to make 
out their case, chiefly because the critical world of art-lovers 
declines to follow their expressions of enthusiasm, and can 
give reasons for its refusal. 

Secondly, we have a right to ask the apostles of Roman art 
what they mean by their claims. How justly may we call 
works like the Altar of Peace,* or even the Column of Trajan, 
"Roman Art"? Was any of it executed by Roman artists ? 
We have just read the true Roman attitude towards art in 
Vergil's scornful excudent alii. We may be sure that the 
Altar of Peace was executed by Greeks. The only named 
sculptors of the period are Greeks. This is indeed admitted, 
but then the Roman claim takes one of two forms, (i) that 
work executed in the Roman Empire may be called Roman, 
which is absurd, or (2) that apart from mere execution there 
* Plate 35, Fig. z; Plate 37 ; and Plate 41, Fig. z. 

2 45 


are in the work certain characteristic innovations which are due 
to Roman inspiration. The latter claim is true, to some extent, 
and important. 

Just as Maecenas "plucked the ear" of the poets, and 
instructed them when to sing or when to refrain from singing 
of kings and battles, so the patron of art gave instructions to 
the Greek artists. It is clear enough what instructions he gave. 
Like Cromwell he cried "Paint me as I am, warts and all. 
Leave your idealism, your perfect profiles, your serene gods in 
the tranquillity of Olympus, and depict men with the living 
emotions displayed in frown and wrinkle." That was excellent 
advice, no doubt, but he seems to have gone further. He 
seems, like the good Dr. Primrose, to have demanded value 
for his money by insisting upon so many portraits to the square 
yard of surface to be decorated. Is not this the explanation 
of the crowded figures in the new style of relief work, as exhi- 
bited at Rome from the Altar of Peace to the Column of 
Trajan? In the friezes of the Mausoleum, the fourth-century 
Greek sculptors had discovered the advantage of free spacing 
so that each figure has a value of its own. The florid taste of 
the millionaire Attalids of Pergamum had made a reactionary 
movement in the direction of crowded and tangled forms. 
Now these Roman friezes carry the demand a stage further. In 
these processions we have a compact mass of faces, each 
admirably and no doubt faithfully portrayed, but ruining by 
their very numbers the artistic success of the whole. The 
spectator is not to admire a composition. As in Frith's 
"Derby Day" he is to pick out a face here and there and cry 
"That is Agrippa: that is Messalla : that is Germanicus." In 
its essence such a demand is not the mark of a people with any 
sense of art. On the contrary it is the measure of their crudity 
and Philistinism. Nevertheless this new demand enabled 
the versatile Greek genius to win for itself fresh triumphs, 
especially in realistic portraiture and narrative relief-work. 

Part of the claim which Wickhoff and his followers make 
for the originality of Roman art is based upon the belief that 

t. A 


the limitations of Greek art are not self-imposed ; for example, 
that the Greeks did not know how to express emotion in the 
plastic arts, that they could not make realistic portraits, that 
through ignorance they never perceived the beauty of a stark 
corpse, that Pheidias lacked the intelligence to find a dramatic 
centre for the Parthenon frieze, and so forth. Such assumptions 
as these are easily disproved. Greeks were capable of realism 
(witness the Ludovisi reliefs *) but they preferred to idealise. 
In portraying giants, barbarians, or slaves they could express 
transient emotions, but for Greeks and gods in statuary they 
deliberately preferred serenity. The Greeks sought to conceal 
their art rather than to display it, as we have learnt from the 
discovery of the subtle secrets of their architecture, and it is 
rash to assert of any principle of craftsmanship that the Greeks 
did not know it. Many of the claims of Rome to originality 
may be refuted by this consideration. 

What I believe to be the true statement of the case 
is this : Greek art did not come to an end with the death of 
Praxiteles or the Roman conquest. Its central impulse passed 
over from the impoverished mainland to the still flourishing 
communities of the East, to Antioch on the Maeander where 
the Aphrodite of Melos was produced, to Rhodes where the 
Laocoon was carved, to Ephesus, and farther east still, even 
into Parthia and possibly India. It was by no means stereo- 
typed but still producing new forms to meet fresh demands, 
as for sarcophagi in Sidon, or for paintings and mosaics in 
Egypt. In the course of this period the art of the Greeks 
was much influenced by the East. The Romans at first were 
content to take Greek art as they found it. In the days of 
Mummius they were merely like rich transatlantic collectors 
in search of beautiful, still more of precious and unique, com- 
modities. They had no doubt some slaves of their own working 
in Rome at the arts and crafts. Some of these would be Greeks 
of inferior birth and capacity reproducing old Greek work for 
the Roman market. But some of them may well have been 

* See "The Glory that was Greece," Plates 31 and 32. 



Italians, some Etruscans preserving the old artistic traditions 
of their race. This " collecting " era lasted down to the time 
of Augustus. We have seen it as late as Cicero and Atticus. 
There was little demand for new creations in those days. Few 
temples were being built. The artists were still scattered about 
the Levant. There was little to attract them to Rome. 

But when Augustus decided to build a new Rome of 
marble, founding or restoring his eighty temples, with arches 
and theatres innumerable all over the Empire, there must have 
been a great influx of artists from Greece and Asia Minor. 
Now begins an art to which we may fairly apply the term 
Grseco-Roman in the sense that it was the work of Greek 
artists under oriental influences supplying Roman demands. 
The new demands entailed still further artistic developments ; 
some of them, but not all, to be regarded by those who view the 
history of art as a whole, as improvements. One main effect 
of Roman conditions was that art largely ceased its service 
of religion and became devoted to secular purposes. Thus the 
limitations of the best Greek art, self-imposed as they were, 
now broke down. The effect is seen especially in portraiture, 
where the Romans had a tradition of realism resulting from 
the use of the death-mask in making wax images of the 
illustrious deceased. Hence in the decoration of the great Altar 
of Peace at Rome, the Greek artists, who would naturally have 
produced a frieze of gods or idealised worshippers, were asked 
for portraits of the men of the day. I think it is clear that 
enormous skill was devoted to the likenesses of men and very 
little care to the gods. The composition of the whole was 
of little account. A little later the demand for historical 
reliefs on arches and columns was met by the development of 
quite new features in the art of sculpture, namely, those spatial 
or tridimensional effects of perspective which are so remark- 
able on the Trajan column.* This art seems to have begun in 
Alexandrian times but Rome may claim the credit for its 
development. It was necessary, if sculpture was to do that 

* Plate 73: for detail see Plates 53, 54, 55, 56. 


for which it was surely never intended to tell a story. The 
Parthenon frieze was religious ornament, the Trajan column 
is secular history. When the Romans required ornament they 
were content with decoration merely and the artists complied 
with the wonderful skill which they had probably learnt in 
Asia. Never have there been such exquisite natural designs in 
wreaths and festoons of flowers and fruit as in the sculpture of 
the Augustan age.* It is the same with the art of the gold- 
smith, as we see in the wonderful discoveries of silver made 
at Hildesheim and Bosco Reale f or in the great imperial 
cameos wrought in sardonyx. J There was money and skill 
in plenty. But what was lacking was a spirit to animate it. 

If we could be sure of our ground in setting down realism 
as the Roman contribution to the history of Art, it would be 
a great achievement for Rome. Realism is undoubtedly a fine 
thing though idealism is a finer. Unfortunately it seems that 
Hellenic art in the eastern centres was developing realism, or 
at least illusionism, for itself on its own soil. On the whole, 
in the controversy between the archaeologists, Strzygowski, who 
claims the East as the inspiring force in Roman days, seems to 
have the best of it. The coins of Asia Minor present realistic 
portraiture quite distinct from that which was native on Roman 
soil. Thus the exquisite festoons of flowers, fruit, and birds, all 
botanically and anatomically correct to the last feather or stamen, 
are probably the product of Greece and the East. But we may 
well believe that the nature of the Roman patron's demands 
assisted this movement. The Roman, if we may judge by Pliny 
the Roman art-critic, was just the man to insist that an apple 
should not resemble a pear or to count the petals of a poppy. This 
sort of criticism affords excellent discipline for the artist. The 
statues of the period, such as the Venus Genetrix by Arcesilaus 
in the Louvre and the Orestes and Electra group by Stephanus 
at Naples, are not very interesting works. They are plainly 
late-born issues of Greek sculpture, though in the latter there 

* Plate 41, Fig. 2 ; Plate 42, Fig. i ; and Plate 43. 
t Plate 38. | Plates 39, 40. Plate 18, Fig. i. 



is an attempt at expression which seems to be derived from 
the influence of portraiture. The " Electra," for example, has 
the same look in her eyes, a frowning look as of one standing 
in strong sunlight, that we see in the portrait of Agrippa. 
Portraiture had taught the sculptor of this day new secrets 
about the setting of the human eye. They had learnt the effect 
produced by deepening the hollow under the brow and by 
making the direction of the glance diverge from that of the 
head and body. But much of this was a legacy from Scopas. 
In little things like the hang of Electra's robe there is visible 
degeneration. Here, as in the Tellus Group, the contour of 
the bosom is made to support the falling drapery, an unnatural 
and very unpleasing effect. 

The architecture of the period is distinguished by similar 
characteristics. It is distinctly Greece-Roman with much of 
'the subtle harmony of fine Greek work lost. The temples are, 
on the whole, the least interesting part of the work, for they are 
pale copies of Greek architecture not always very artistically 
adapted. A good many of the ruined monuments of Rome to 
which the pious traveller now directs his footsteps date from 
the Augustan period. Many of the temples of the Republic 
were now rebuilt on the old plan with more sumptuous materials, 
as, for example, the round shrine of Mater Matuta,* commonly 
called the Temple of Hercules. Technical innovations include 
the debasement of the Doric column by omitting those subtle 
flutings which gave it all the grace whereby its strength was 
saved from clumsiness, and by erecting it upon a pedestal. 
But the Romans preferred the more exuberant Corinthian order 
with its florid capital of acanthus foliage, a type which the 
Greeks had used very sparingly and seldom externally. Again, 
the Romans had discovered improved methods of construction 
which enabled them to use a wider span in roofing, but they 
made no artistic advantage out of this fact. On the contrary, 
by dispensing with the peristyle or surrounding colonnade they 
rendered the exterior of their temples much less interesting. 

* Plate 44, Fig. 2. 


The principal surviving 'relics of Augustan temples are eight 
columns of the Temple of Saturn * which still stand in the Forum 
at Rome. The celebrated Pantheon f is now recognised to be 
a work of Hadrian's time though its plan probably repeats that 
of the temple erected on the site by Agrippa. But the clearest 
picture of the ecclesiastical architecture of the day is to be 
seen on the reliefs of the Altar of Peace, which reproduce the 
appearance of actual temples with almost photographic exacti- 
tude. The finest extant example is undoubtedly the temple at 
Nismes, known as the Maison Carrde,J a graceful erection of 
this period which exhibits the Corinthian style without undue 

As the Romans of this day had scarcely any trace of 
genuine religious feeling it is not surprising that they had little 
of their own to contribute to temple architecture except wealth 
and magnificence. But they were naturally devoted to building 
and that was the favourite extravagance of the rich. Nothing 
but a few pavements survives of all the handsome villas which 
dotted the hill-sides at Tibur and Praeneste, or lined the coast 
at Baiae, Naples, and Surrentum. But there are several 
secular buildings of Augustan date in which we can see a 
handsome Graeco-Roman style of architecture wherein Greek 
columns and entablatures were used by Roman architects chiefly 
as ornament. The Theatre of Marcellus, built in 1 3 B.C., still 
presents considerable remains, which though much defaced 
exhibit an appearance of bygone splendour. The lower story 
is Doric, the second is Ionic, and the third which has perished 
was probably in the Corinthian style. We may judge its 
effective appearance from the copy of its elevation which 
Michael Angelo produced in his design for the inner court of 
the Farnese Palace at Rome.|| The Renaissance learnt much of 
its architecture from Augustan Rome and these very designs 
may be seen springing up around us to-day in the banks and 
town-halls of London. Thus Augustan Rome holds a 

* Plate 44, Fig. i. f Plate 45. J Plate 46. 
Plate 47. || plate 48. 



supremacy for secular building even greater than Periclean 
Athens achieved for temples. Where magnificence and solidity 
and it may be added cheapness are the principal motives of 
construction, the Graeco-Roman style of the First Century B.C. 
is unmatched. 

The most gorgeous of the architectural creations of 
Augustus was, however, that Temple of Mars the Avenger 
which he set up in memory of his triumph over Antony and 
his punishment of the conspirators. Round it was a piazza. 
(forum) adorned with imaginary portrait statues of all the 
Roman heroes of history with biographical inscriptions on the 
bases. In all the Augustan culture we see the impress of the 
prince's own Graeco-Roman taste. It was all planned to 
achieve his object of dazzling the multitude and yet gaining 
over to his side the highest intellect and taste of his day. His 
own tastes were refined and fastidious : he hated extravagance 
and utility was always before his eyes. " He read the classics 
in both tongues " says Suetonius, " principally in order to find 
salutary precepts and examples for public and private life. He 
would copy these out word for word and send them to his 
servants or to the governors of armies and provinces or to the 
magistrates of the city whenever they required his admoni- 
tions. He used to read whole volumes to the Senate, and 
often publish them in an edict." We learn further that he 
always prepared his more important orations most carefully, 
writing them down and keeping the manuscript close at hand. 
This practice he followed even in his discourse with his wife. 
Augustan culture has just this quality : it takes immense pains 
and succeeds by virtue of them. It lacks a good deal in 
spontaneity but it makes up in excellence of technique. 






Ambitionem scriptoris facile auerseris, obtrectatio et liuor 
pronis auribus accipiuntur : quippe adulationi fcedum crimen 
seruitutis, malignitati falsa species libertatis inest. TACITUS. 

N these words, pregnant and terse as ever, Tacitus 
gives us a key to the true reading of imperial Roman 
history. " It is easy," he says, "to discount the self- 
interest of the historian and to reject his eulogies, but 
his malicious criticisms are greedily swallowed. For 
flattery bears the odious stamp of servility, while 
malignity wears the false disguise of independence." 
Thus out of his own mouth the foremost historian of 
the early Empire gives us the right to read the 
literary sources in a spirit favourable to the emperors. 
So when the historians describe Tiberius as a blood- 
thirsty tyrant who hid himself away in the island of 
Capri, and there (at the age of seventy!) began to 
devote himself to disgusting orgies of lust and cruelty, 
we shall prefer to reject that story as absurd, and to 
regard Tiberius as a proud and reserved aristocrat who found 
it impossible to tolerate the mixture of adulation and spite 
with which he was treated by the other nobles of Rome, and 
withdrew from the capital in order to escape it. When 
Gaius (Caligula) is represented as a lunatic, we merely under- 
stand that he was unpopular ; when we are told that he made 
his horse a consul, we recognise a satirist's humorous exaggera- 
tion of his neglect of some noble family's claims to that office ; 

2 53 


when we read that he set his army to collect oyster shells on 
the coast of Normandy, we only conclude that his surrender of 
the projected invasion of Britain was a subject of ridicule in 
Rome. Claudius is described as a stupid and clumsy pedant, 
deformed and inarticulate : in reality he seems to have been a 
scholar with a leaning towards antiquarian and republican 
traditions. Even in the case of Nero, the savage ferocity with 
which he is charged is chiefly due to the fact that his hand lay 
heavy on the senators. He was undoubtedly popular with the 
commons, and his real offence was to possess more refine- 
ment and culture than was considered proper in a Roman 
noble, to be too fond of Greeks and art and music. Never- 
theless it is impossible to write history in whitewash, and 
the only safe method of dealing with a period like this is 
to ignore the personalities on the throne of the Caesars, and 
to attempt a broad treatment of the general tendency of these 

But by neglecting the gossip and the personalities we do, 
I fear, run the risk of missing much of the interest of the 
period, and perhaps we lose an important part of the truth. 
We must not allow ourselves to be wholly deprived of that im- 
pression of purple and splendour which hangs about the Golden 
House of Nero, nor to forget the taint of crime which clings to 
the palaces of the Caesars. The latter in particular is an 
essential part of imperial history. As we have seen, this 
Empire founded on compromise was and remained illegitimate. 
The succession was always open to question ; there was no law 
of heredity. This fact was emphasised by the barrenness of 
the Roman aristocracy. For a hundred years no prince had 
a son to succeed him, so that the palace was always full of 
intrigue. Finally, the wickedness of the women is one of the 
most sinister features of the time. Though it was, indeed, no 
innovation of the Empire, it now gains a terrible significance 
in the dynastic conflicts which surrounded the throne. Every 
one of the early reigns is stained with murders and fearful 
crimes in the palace. No doubt much of this history is false 





and malicious. For example, it is by no means likely that 
Germanicus was poisoned. There were always scandal-mongers 
to hint at poison when any member of the ruling house died of 
disease. But even with the most liberal discount for exaggera- 
tion, the record is a black one. Let us select two typical 
stories, in order to suggest the kind of satanic halo which 
surrounds the imperial houses, as the ancient historians depict 

Claudius, the conqueror of Britain, was in reality the ablest 
and best of the Claudian Caesars who succeeded Augustus, but 
his wife Messalina, thirty-four years his junior, was a creature 
of shameless lust and remorseless cruelty. Valerius Asiaticus, 
a Gaul by birth but now the richest noble of his day, was in 
possession of the far-famed gardens of Lucullus. Messalina 
coveted the park and accused him to her husband, with the 
inevitable result. Asiaticus died like a gentleman. He took 
his usual exercise, he bathed and dined quite cheerfully, and 
then he opened his veins, "but not until he had inspected his 
funeral pyre and ordered its removal to another place, for fear 
that the smoke should injure the thick foliage of the trees." 
So died this lover of gardens. Messalina's sins grew more 
open, until at last she went through a public pantomime of 
marriage with one of her paramours, Silius, a consul-elect. 
The ceremony was performed before a number of witnesses duly 
invited. Claudius was at that time guided by the counsels of 
three Greek secretaries, and one of them determined to reveal 
the shameful truth to the emperor. Tacitus tells the story of 
her ruin in graphic language. She was celebrating the vintage 
feast in the gardens she had wickedly gained for herself. The 
presses were being trodden, the vats were overflowing, women 
girt with skins were dancing, as Bacchanals dance in their 
worship or their frenzy. Messalina with flowing hair shook 
the thyrsus, and Silius, at her side, crowned with ivy and 
wearing the buskin, moved his head in time with some lascivious 
chorus. One of the guests had climbed a tree in sport and 
reported a " hurricane from Ostia." It was truer than he knew, 

2 55 


for just then messengers began to arrive with news that Claudius 
was on his way from Ostia, coming with vengeance. The 
revels ceased, the revellers fled in all directions, and Messalina, 
left deserted, mounted a garden cart to proceed along the road to 
meet her husband. Her appeal failed, though Claudius would 
undoubtedly have relented but for the interference of the freed- 
man Narcissus. After dinner, warmed with the wine, he bade 
some one go and tell " that poor creature " to come before him 
on the morrow to plead her cause. But Narcissus had already 
sent soldiers to her, and she was driven to suicide. " Claudius 
was still at the banquet when they told him that Messalina was 
dead, without mentioning whether it was by her own or another's 
hand. Nor did he ask the question, but called for his cup and 
finished the repast as usual." 

Nero, too, in the pages of Suetonius appears so incredible 
in his wickedness that the exaggeration is obvious. Of his 
splendid new palace the Golden House we read : " The 
portico was so high that it could contain a colossal statue of 
himself a hundred and twenty feet in height ; and the space it 
included was so vast that it had a triple colonnade, a mile in 
length, and a lake like a sea, surrounded with buildings that 
looked like a city. It had a park with cornfields, vineyards, 
pastures, and woods containing a vast number of animals of all 
kinds, wild and tame. Parts of it were entirely overlaid with 
gold, and incrusted with jewels and pearl. The supper-rooms 
were vaulted and the compartments of the ceilings, which were 
inlaid with ivory, were made to revolve and scatter flowers. 
They also contained pipes to shed scents upon the guests. The 
chief banqueting-room was circular and revolved perpetually 
day and night, according to the motion of the celestial bodies. 
The baths were supplied with water from the sea and the 
Albula." At the dedication of this magnificent building, all 
that he said in praise of it was : " Now at last I have begun to 
live like a gentleman." They charged Nero with the murder 
of all his relatives, and there is a grim sort of humour in the 
story of his frequent attempts upon his mother's life. His 

grievance against her was that she was too strict. First, he 
deprived her of her bodyguard, and suborned people to harass 
her with lawsuits which drove her out of the city. In her 
retirement he set others to follow her about by land and sea 
with abuse and scurrilous language. Three times he attempted 
her life by poison, but finding she had previously rendered 
herself immune by the use of antidotes, he next designed 
machinery to make the floor above her bed-chamber collapse 
while she was asleep. When this failed he constructed a 
special coffin-ship, which could be made to fall in pieces, and 
then sent her a loving invitation to visit him at Baise, the 
Brighton of the Romans. The ships of her escort were like- 
wise instructed to ram her by accident on the way home. He 
attended her to the vessel in a very cheerful spirit and kissed 
her bosom at parting with her. After which he sat up late at 
night waiting with great anxiety for the joyful news of her 
decease. But news arrived that the accident had miscarried, 
the dowager empress was swimming to shore. When her 
freedman came joyfully to narrate her escape, Nero pretended 
that the man had come to assassinate him and ordered her to 
be put to death. Suetonius adds " on good authority " that he 
went to view her corpse and criticised her blemishes to his 
followers, and then called for drink. After this he was haunted 
by her ghost. 

The famous story of his death is told with a little restraint, 
and the latter part of it is not incredible. When the first bad 
news came of the revolt of Vindex with the legions of Gaul, 
Nero summoned his privy council and held a hasty consultation 
with them about the crisis, but spent the rest of the day in 
showing them a hydraulic organ and discoursing upon the 
intricacies of the invention. Then he composed a skit upon 
the rebels, and prepared a pathetic speech which was to make 
the mutineers return to his allegiance in tears. He sat down 
to compose the songs of triumph which should be sung upon 
that occasion. In preparing his expedition his first thought 
was to provide carriages for the band: he equipped all his 

R 257 


concubines as Amazons with battle-axes and bucklers. But 
when he heard of the revolt of the Spanish army under Galba 
also, he fell into a temper and tore the dispatch to pieces. He 
broke his precious cups and put up a dose of Locusta's poison 
in a golden box. He ordered the praetorian guard to rally 
round him, but they only quoted Vergil to him : 

" Is death indeed so hard a lot ? " 

At midnight he awoke and found that the guards had deserted 
his bedside. Even his bedding and his golden box of poison 
had been stolen. So he stumbled out into the night as if he 
would throw himself into the Tiber. But a few faithful slaves 
came to him and a freedman offered him his country villa for 
a refuge, and Nero rode thither in a shabby disguise. An 
earthquake shook the ground and a flash of lightning darted 
in his face ; he heard the soldiers in the praetorian camp shouting 
for Galba. Skulking among bushes and briers, he crawled on 
all fours to a wretched outhouse of his freedman's villa. There 
he ordered them to dig a grave and line it with scraps of marble. 
The water and wood for his obsequies were prepared, while he 
uttered the famous words " qualis artifex pereol" either 
meaning " What an artist the world is losing ! " or (more 
probably) "What an artistic death!" A dispatch came to 
announce that he had been declared a public enemy by the 
senate, and was to be punished according to the ancient custom 
of the Romans. He asked what sort of death that meant, and 
was informed that the criminal was generally stripped naked 
and scourged to death with his head in a pillory. Then he 
took up daggers and tried the points, but still he dared not die. 
He begged one of his attendants to give him the example. At 
last he heard the horsemen coming, quoted a line of the Iliad 
very appropriately, and drove, with the help of his secretary, a 
dagger into his throat. 

Now, even of this, three-quarters is pure rhetoric. For 
example, it was impossible that Nero should have heard the 
soldiers in the Esquiline Camp from the road which he took to 






his servant's villa. The details are the invention of malice, 
or the attempt of a literary artist to improve his story. Even 
Suetonius admits that the populace continued to deck Nero's 
tomb with spring and summer flowers, that they dressed 
up his image and placed it on the rostra as if he were 
still alive, and that a pretender, who arose in his name 
twenty years later, was received with acclamation among the 

Having made this concession to the literary tradition which 
can be shown to be very largely fiction, we may now endeavour 
to gather up the fragments of history and briefly trace the 
progress of the Empire during its first century. First, as to 
its geographical growth; although Augustus had bequeathed 
in his testament the advice not to enlarge the frontiers of the 
Empire, and Tiberius had observed the precept, yet conquest 
still remained an object of ambition in the heart of every 
emperor who sought military renown or fresh sources of revenue. 
Britain, the declined legacy of Julius, was obviously beckoning 
the Romans. Diplomatic relations with the many kings of that 
island had always been frequent, and it was found that Britain 
was an inconvenient neighbour for a rapidly Romanising Gaul. 
There was a continual coming and going across the water, for 
there were kindred peoples on each side. Especially, it was the 
last refuge of the anti-Roman force of Druidism, a religion 
which was already declining and was suppressed by Claudius 
in Gaul. That this was so is shown by the forward movement 
of the Romans in the direction of Anglesey. The details of 
the conquest of Britain are, in spite of voluminous discussions, 
by no means certain. Aulus Plautius Silvanus with four legions, 
and with the future emperor Vespasian as one of his brigadiers, 
defeated Cymbeline and ten other kings of South Britain, 
crossed the Thames and conquered Colchester (Camulodunum), 
which became a Roman colonia and the centre of govern- 
ment. This was in A.D. 43, and Claudius himself spent a 
fortnight in our island in order to receive the honours of 
victory. The conquest was not too easily achieved, for there 



were five great battles in which the emperor, though absent, 
received the titles of victory. Plautius himself seems to have 
reached the line of the Trent and Severn. Ostorius Scapula, 
his successor, was mainly occupied in subduing the Silures of 
the Welsh mountains, and in the conquest of the elusive prince 
Caradoc. The mercy shown to that defeated hero proves that 
the Romans had advanced in humanity since the days of 
Jugurtha. The two succeeding legates made no fresh advance, 
but Suetonius Paulinus in A.D. 59-61 established Chester as his 
western camp. While he was engaged in the conquest of 
Anglesey, leaving only the ninth legion to hold the conquered 
province, there broke out the great rebellion under the heroic 
Boudicca. There never has been a quarrel in this island 
which has not had money as its root. It was not so much the 
oppressive nature of the tribute as the vexatious methods of the 
Roman financiers, who still as in republican days swarmed in 
the wake of eagles, that stirred the Iceni and their queen into 
revolt. Camulodunum, Verulamium, and Londinium were 
taken and sacked and there was an immense slaughter of 
Roman civilians and Romanised Britons. But vengeance 
followed: no barbarians could stand against the strategy and 
discipline of the legions. 

Succeeding governors were mainly content to pacify and 
civilise the island. 

One of the extraordinarily pungent chapters of Tacitus 
shows us the Roman method of empire-building in Britain. 
"The following winter," he says of A.D. 79, "was spent in 
useful statecraft. To make a people which was scattered and 
barbarous, and therefore prone to warfare, grow accustomed 
to peace and quietness by way of their pleasures, Agricola 
used to persuade them by private exhortations and public 
assistance to build temples, forums, and houses, with praise 
for the eager and admonitions for the laggard. Thus 
they could not help embarking on the rivalry for honour. 
Now he began to instruct the sons of chieftains in the liberal 
arts, to xtol the natural abilities of the Britons above the 



studious habits of Gaul, so that those who lately rejected even 
the Roman language now became zealous for oratory. So 
even our dress came into esteem, and the toga was commonly 
worn. The next step was towards the attractions of our vices, 
lounging in colonnades, baths, and refined dinner-parties. They 
were too ignorant to see that what they call civilisation was 
really a form of slavery." There is no doubt that the Britons 
took as readily as their Gallic cousins to the Roman civilisation. 
Many of them took Roman names and became Roman citizens. 
They learnt the pleasures of the bath and the amphitheatre, 
their mines were exploited, arts and industries were introduced, 
agriculture was improved. The Druids hid themselves away 
in the unconquered fastnesses of Wales or crossed over to the 
Hibernian island which the Romans never had leisure to 
conquer. Meanwhile the Britons were learning to worship the 
obsolete gods of Rome, and presently the Eastern deities who 
came in their train. 

It was the father-in-law of Tacitus, Julius Agricola, who 
conquered, or at least defeated, the northern tribes of England. 
Among the powerful Brigantes he established a garrison at 
York (Eburacum), which eventually became the most important 
of all the Roman centres. He advanced into Scotland also, 
and inflicted a bloody defeat upon the wild Caledonians. But 
Scotland remained unconquered, as did the neighbouring island 
upon which also Agricola had cast his ambitious eyes. The 
Roman army was wanted elsewhere, and the Emperor Domitian 
declined to assist any further adventures. Little more of our 
island's story is recorded until the travelling Emperor Hadrian 
came out to visit us in A.D. 122. He saw that the wild north 
was only to be won by a gradual advance with more or less 
peaceful penetration northwards. The system of fortified 
frontiers was already established on the Rhine and Danube, 
and Hadrian drew his finger across the seventy miles between 
Bowness and Wallsend. Across this space, where the Tyne and 
Solway almost overlap, the Roman lines ran straight over hill 
and dale, and there they are to this day as a silent proof of the 



greatness of the Roman people.* This was more than a frontier : 
it was a vast elongated camp which looked south as well as 
north and frowned alike upon the Brigantes and the Caledonians. 
It was pierced at intervals by fortified gates and great roads ran 
northwards through it. On the north there was first a ditch, 
and then a stone wall broad enough for two or three men to 
walk abreast along it and nearly twenty feet high. Behind this, 
in a space of about 140 yards wide, runs a road connect- 
ing a chain of fourteen large camps, some of which grew into 
towns. Southward again was the quadruple rampart of earth, 
a mound, a dyke, and then a double mound. This immense 
labour, though it is small in comparison with Roman works 
elsewhere, was achieved not by British slaves, but by Roman 
soldiers, some of whom were Britons, some Spaniards, and some 
Germans. It was completed gradually under various emperors. 
There were detached forts both north and south of the wall of 
Hadrian. It was Antoninus Pius who made the next step 
twenty years later. The Antonine wall from the Forth to the 
Clyde is only about half as long and of inferior strength. 
There were camps even north of this, in Stirlingshire for 
example, and it is clear that the Romans intended to feel their 
way into the Highlands. But that was contrary to their fates. 
Gaul meanwhile was becoming as civilised as Italy herself. 
Numbers of the Gauls who had acquired the Latin speech 
received the jus Latinum, which was almost equivalent to full 
citizenship. Claudius admitted the chiefs of the /Edui into the 
Roman senate, and part of the speech in which he did so is 
preserved on bronze tablets at Lyons. Twice in the course of 
the century there were interesting attempts to give political ex- 
pression to the Gallic sense of nationality. The revolt of 
Vindex at the close of Nero's reign was little more than a 
mutiny, but the projected " Empire of the Gauls," which was 
set up during the confusion which followed the fall of Vitellius, 
came very near success. Jealousy between the Gauls and 
Germans wrecked it. 

* Plate 51. 



In the case of Germany, it looked for a time as if Tiberius, 
who, of course, had personal knowledge of the difficulties and 
advantages of further conquest, meant to break his stepfather's 
precept and annex more territory. But probably the annual 
expeditions of Germanicus were not intended to be more than 
punitive and demonstrative. Blood enough was shed, and 
acres enough laid waste, to appease the unburied ghosts of 
Varus and his legions. But though the great battle of 
Idistavisus was hailed as a Roman victory, Arminius himself 
continually eluded the Romans and the legions were more than 
once in peril of ambush. When Tiberius cried halt, it was open 
to the critics to find a malevolent explanation in his jealousy of 
Germanicus, but it is much more likely to have been the 
deliberate policy of an emperor who had knowledge of Germany. 
Thus, although Arminius presently fell a victim to his own 
ambition, and perished by the dagger of a tyrannicide kinsman, 
he had done his work and saved the liberty of Germany. 
Henceforth the Romans confined themselves to the Rhine 
frontier, though they had posts and summer camps beyond it. 
By degrees the generals of the Upper and Lower Armies in 
Germany developed into governors of two German provinces, 
but Germany was unconquered. There was a great military 
road along the left bank of the Rhine joining the garrison 
towns where the legions were quartered. Mogontiacum 
(Mainz) and Vetera Castra (Xanten) remained as the head- 
quarters, until the latter was superseded by Cologne (Colonia 
Agrippinensis) founded under Claudius. Trier (Augusta 
Treverorum), another foundation of about the same date, grew 
into an important centre of Roman civilisation, as its majestic 
Roman gate* and fine amphitheatre still bear witness. Under 
Claudius also the great Via Claudia over the Brenner Pass was 
completed, and the canal joining the Maas to the Rhine. 
This was better work for Roman soldiers than slaughtering 
Chatti and Chauci in their native forests. The re-entrant angle 
of the Rhine and Danube about the Black Forest, where the 

* Plate 52. 


rivers run small, was recognised as a danger-point. The 
barbarian Germans were accordingly cleared away to make 
room for a body of Gallic emigrants, who received lands on 
condition of paying a tithe of their produce as rent, and of 
undertaking their own defence. This was a new piece of 
frontier policy which was often imitated in later times. 

It seems to have been the Flavian emperors, Vespasian and 
Domitian, who advanced a step farther. On the other side of 
the Rhine and beyond these Agri Decumates the Romans 

Roman Limes 

began to construct a line of forts and wooden watch-towers 
linked by a rampart of earth, and known as the Limes Trans- 
Rhenamis. This frontier of Upper Germany left the Rhine 
between Linz and Andernach, crossed the Lahn at Ems, and 
then turned eastwards north of Wiesbaden (Aquae Mattiacae) 
and Frankfort. After Saalburg it runs on a north-easterly 
curve to Griiningen, whence it turns south, and continues for 
more than 100 miles through Aschaffenburg and Worth to 
join the Rhaetian limes at Lorch. From Lorch the Rhsetian 
limes goes eastwards to join the Danube a few miles above 
Regensburg. At first perhaps it was little more than a police and 
customs limit, but it gradually grew into a formidable barrier 
behind which the Roman Empire rested in a too profound 
security. Trajan continued it. Hadrian strengthened it with 
a wall and palisade. Commodus further fortified and extended 
it. A similar bulwark ran along the Danube. This policy of 




setting up immobile defences like the Great Wall of China is 
always a dangerous one. Useful at first and visibly strong, it 
tends to lull the defenders into a false security. The camps 
and forts grew into towns, the armies into peaceful citizens 
living with their wives and children and devoting themselves 
to trade and husbandry. Meanwhile the barbarians on the 
other side were growing stronger and learning the art of war 
as fast as the Romans were forgetting it. 

After this the danger-point for the Empire shifted gradually 
eastwards down the Danube. Claudius had converted Thrace 
from an allied kingdom into a Roman province in A.D. 46. Much 
difficulty was caused by the Dacians, who lived just across the 
Danube on the north bank opposite the Roman province of 
Moesia and in the modern Roumania. As the Danube was apt 
to become frozen in winter it ceased to offer a satisfactory 
frontier, so long as there were powerful enemies on the other 
side. At first the Romans tried the system of transplanting 
them, 50,000 under Augustus and 100,000 under Nero, and 
settling them in the province of Moesia. But it was a stupid 
policy, for it meant constant intrigues between the free barbarians 
and their enslaved kinsfolk. Vespasian accordingly moved 
two legions down from Dalmatia to reinforce the two already 
stationed in Moesia. But presently there arose an able and 
heroic king called Decebalus, who welded the Dacians into a 
compact and organised kingdom, and began to menace the 
security of the Empire. Like Marbod of Bohemia, he drilled 
his barbarians on the Roman model. In A.D. 85 he invaded 
Moesia, won victories and did great damage. Domitian, called 
upon to face this peril, was content with inflicting a single 
defeat upon them and then accepting Decebalus as a client 
prince. He gave him Roman engineers and artillerymen, and 
even sent gifts of money which the barbarians were pleased to 
regard as tribute. This has been set down as cowardice, but 
it was certainly unwisdom in Domitian, for Decebalus grew 
stronger and more dangerous. It was left for Trajan, the 
greatest soldier of all the early emperors, to face this thorny 



problem in the two great Dacian Wars of 101 and 105 B.C. 
The whole war is depicted for us by pictures in stone. The 
spiral reliefs which cover the column of Trajan tell us, with far 
more detail than the narrative of Dio, the history of the two 
Dacian Wars. We see the embarkation of the Roman army, 
we see it on the march with its scouts in advance, we see the 
solemn purifications, sacrifices, and harangues which preceded 
battle. We see the battles themselves, in which the Romans 
with sword and pilum defeat the Dacians and their mail-clad 
Sarmatian cavalry. The great bridge built across the Danube at 
Viminacium by the Greek architect Apollodorus is faithfully 
depicted. We can watch the siege of the Dacian capital, 
Sarmizegethusa, and observe the construction of the siege- 
engines. Scenes of pathos are most graphically portrayed, 
the torturing of Roman prisoners by the barbarian women, the 
suicide of the Dacian chiefs by poison, and the death of the 
heroic Decebalus. At intervals throughout the story there 
appears and reappears the calm and stately figure of Trajan, 
steering his ship, sacrificing for victory, leading the march or 
the charge, haranguing his troops, directing the labour of 
engineering, consulting with his officers, or receiving the sub- 
mission of the foe.* 

The end of the two wars was that Dacia was annexed and 
became a province of the Empire. Here, as elsewhere, Trajan 
showed his contempt of natural frontiers. As a gallant soldier 
himself, he believed in the invincibility of the Roman arms, and 
preferred to put his trust in legions rather than in walls. For this 
he has been condemned by modern historians, but history is on 
his side. More than anything else it was reliance on natural 
frontiers and artificial ramparts, with the consequent loss of 
military instincts, which was to be the undoing of the Roman 

On the eastern frontier it was for a long time a game of 
tug-of-war between Rome and Parthia, the rope being supplied 
by the kingdom of Armenia. The Augustan policy of filling 

* Plates 53, 54, 55, 56. 



the oriental thrones with princes trained at Rome was not a 
great success. You might learn bad lessons at court; you 
might even learn to know Rome without learning to love or 
fear her. The princes sent to Armenia or Parthia were un- 
stable allies and the ordinary course of events was for the 
Romans to send out a king to Armenia and for the Parthians 
to depose him. Again it was left for Trajan to attack this 
problem in the old Roman fashion ; when the usual submissive 
embassy arrived, Trajan answered, as a Metellus might have 
done, that he wanted deeds not words, and he led his army on. 
Trajan found the Eastern legions, whose headquarters were at 
Antioch, already civilianised and orientalised so that they had 
become useless for fighting. At this time there were four 
legions in Syria, one in Judaea and one in the new province of 
Cappadocia. The first task was to restore discipline and energy 
to these troops. Then, without bloodshed, in A.D. 115 Armenia 
was declared a province. Parthia, distracted by civil war, was 
overrun, its capital Ctesiphon easily taken by siege. Mesopo- 
tamia was made a province, and to Parthia was given a new 
king. The client kingdom of Adiabene became a third new 
province under the name of Assyria. This meant that the 
Tigris became the eastern frontier instead of the Euphrates. 
Unfortunately these conquests had been too easily achieved, 
largely through the temporary dissensions of the Parthians, who 
accordingly failed to experience the salutary discipline of real 
defeat. Trajan died on his way home, and Hadrian, who was 
more of a statesman than a warrior, reversed his predecessor's 
policy. He surrendered the three new provinces and even 
acquiesced in the Parthians' choice of a king of their own in 
place of the Roman nominee. The only new provinces of 
Trajan's creation which Hadrian retained were Dacia and 

Although their military force was contemptible, their 
spiritual zeal made the Jews the most difficult people to govern 
in the whole empire. Worshipping their Jealous God with 
fierce ardour, they could not join in the Caesar-worship which 



was the outward sign of loyalty and patriotism throughout the 
Roman world. Moreover the Semitic question had already 
begun to vex the soul of Europe. Throughout the East and 
especially in the trade centres such as Antioch, Alexandria, 
and Cyrene there were already large communities of Jews who 
lived on the usual terms of deep-rooted racial animosity with 
their neighbours. It is only fair to the Roman government to 
admit that it tried to conciliate its difficult subjects. Though 
the vanity of Caligula led him to accept the suggestion of 
erecting a colossal statue of him in the Temple at Jerusalem, 
yet when the philosopher Philo and his fellow-ambassadors came 
over to plead against the outrage the emperor good-humouredly 
remarked that if people refused to worship him it was more 
their misfortune than their fault. As a rule the Roman pro- 
curators who administered Galilee and Judaea were almost 
too tolerant of Jewish fanaticism. The Jews were exempt from 
military service : their Sabbaths were respected. A Roman 
soldier who tore a book of the law was put to death. It was 
useless to argue with such sects as the Zealots and Assassins. 
The Anti-Semite spirit broke out into massacres. In Caesarea, 
Damascus, and elsewhere the Gentiles slew the Jews; in 
Alexandria and Cyrene the Jews slaughtered the Gentiles. In 
Jerusalem the Romans had to face violent discord between the 
rival factions, and naturally they sided with the more tolerant 
and moderate Sadducees against the stern Pharisees and the 
smaller sects of extremists. In A.D. 66 matters came to a 
crisis. A Roman garrison was attacked and destroyed: the 
army which came from Syria to avenge them was repulsed with 
slaughter. This occurred while the Emperor Nero was on one 
of his theatrical tours in Greece, and in the next year Vespasian 
was sent with an army of three legions and auxiliaries which 
increased its numbers to more than 50,000. During the death 
of Nero and the short reigns of his three successors, Vespasian 
was gradually subduing Palestine and driving the irrecon- 
cilables before him into Jerusalem. Vespasian himself became 
emperor and it was left to his son Titus to finish the tragedy. 



The siege of Jerusalem (A.D. 70) was one of the most difficult 
tasks which the Romans ever had to face. In addition to its 
natural strength there were six lines of fortification to be over- 
come one by one, and each was defended with all the grim 
tenacity of which the Semite race is capable when it is on the 
defensive. Five months the great siege lasted, and at the end 
Jerusalem was a heap of ruins. Some of the temple treasures 
were saved for the Roman triumph, and the Arch of Titus still 
shows us the famous seven-branched golden candlestick being 
carried up to the temple of Capitoline Jove.* It is said that 
one million Jews perished in the siege and 100,000 more were 
sold into slavery. Jerusalem became merely the camp of the 
Tenth Legion. All Judaea became one province, and the 
scattered Jews were only allowed to keep their privileges on 
condition of registering their names and paying a fee of two 
denarii every year for their licence. 

But this awful lesson had not quenched the fire of Jewish 
patriotism nor killed their hopes of an earthly Messiah who 
should restore the kingdom of David. Once again under 
Hadrian there was a Jewish rebellion stimulated by the fact 
that the emperor forbade the rite of circumcision and decreed 
the foundation of a Roman colony at Jerusalem with a temple 
to Jupiter on Mount Zion. The revolt was stamped out with 
merciless severity and the Jews were scattered for ever. 

The only other noteworthy addition to the Roman Empire 
was Mauretania (Morocco), which was incorporated as a 
province by Caligula. The motive alleged was the emperor's 
desire to possess himself of the treasures of Ptolemy, its 

On the whole, then, we can see that the Roman Empire 
had almost reached its natural limits. It had seized as much 
as it could govern, and now, with the exception of the Parthian 
kingdom, all that lay outside its frontiers was naked barbarism. 
So the centre grew more and more unwarlike, while the legions 
had little to occupy their minds except the speculation whether 

* Plate 58. 



their particular general had a chance of the purple. For this 
reason alone the Caesars were loth to embark on conquests, 
unless like Trajan they were willing to neglect everything else 
and undertake the campaigns in person. A victorious general 
was always to be dreaded by his master. 


At first sight the position of the princeps, who was absolute 
lord of this world, is one of immense and terrible power. But 
earthly power has its natural limits in human weakness. The 
weak or wicked emperors were generally the servants of their 
favourites, male or female, or they lived under fear of the 
legions. Without their bureaux they were helpless, and the 
bureaux in the skilled hands of Roman knights or Greek 
freedmen were acquiring the real power. But it is astonishing 
how much actual work was done by the more conscientious 
Caesars. In Pliny's letters we see what minute details were 
referred by a provincial governor to his master and how 
minutely they were answered. The answers may be, and no 
doubt sometimes are, the composition of secretaries, but 
there is a personal note in them which often suggests the 
emperor's own dictation. Probably Trajan was exceptionally 
industrious and Pliny exceptionally meticulous. Nevertheless 
it looks as if a strong emperor actually ruled this vast domain. 
It is one of the merits of despotism that the monarch's power 
increases automatically with his virtues and capacity. A 
Caligula could not do so much harm : an Augustus, a Claudius, 
a Trajan, or a Hadrian might benefit millions of mankind. I 
think it is clear that they did so. The insane work of slaughter, 
which is all that interests the ordinary historian, had almost 
ceased. All over the world the markets were full, the work- 
shops were noisy with hammers, the seas were thronged with 
ships, the great highways busy with travellers. Justice was 
strong and even-handed. Taxes were low and equitably 
assessed. For the most part men had liberty to go their own 
ways and worship their own gods. From the accession of 


Augustus to the death of Antoninus Pius and with a few 
intervals one might safely go further the world was enjoying 
one of its golden periods of prosperity. It is unhistorical to 
look ahead and pronounce this happy world to be already 

Yet, on the other hand, it is idle to deny the unsound spots in 
this imposing fabric of empire. The weakness was at the centre. 
The Roman aristocracy was gay and splendid, but not happy or 
secure. The ghost of the Republic still haunted her streets. To 
make a necessary repetition : if Augustus had been succeeded 
by a son as wise and tactful as himself, and if the throne had 
then passed to a third generation with the soldierly qualities of 
Trajan and the statesmanship of Diocletian, the Empire might 
have taken shape as a strong hereditary monarchy with a senate 
co-operating heartily, and an army obeying loyally. But that 
was not fated so. Tiberius was too proud to play the comedy 
as Augustus had done: instead, he made enemies of the 
aristocracy and became suspicious and tyrannical. When 
they lampooned and abused him, he turned into a despot. 
Cremutius Cordus, the historian, was executed for calling 
Cassius " the last of the Romans." At last Tiberius withdrew 
himself in gloomy despair and left the government in the hands 
of an unscrupulous intriguer, the knight Sejanus, who still 
further harried and alienated the nobles. It is hard to know 
the truth about Gaius, so palpably is his story written by satirists. 
He may have been mad. The adulation which surrounded the 
Caesars was enough to turn the head of a vain youth. He was 
certainly extravagant and increased his unpopularity by taxes 
upon litigants and prostitutes. It was the officers of the 
praetorian guard who conspired to assassinate him. 

Claudius was chosen by the bodyguard who had murdered 
his predecessor and he bought their allegiance with i 20 apiece. 
He was the uncle of Caligula, but no process of adoption had 
lifted him into the royal house. Still he was the grandson of 
Livia and his assumption of the name " Caesar " passed without 
comment. Claudius set Augustus before him as his model and 


in all things he was careful to return to republican precedents. 
He took the office of censor for the revision of the senate-roll. 
He increased the patriciate, encouraged the State religion and 
by personal attention improved the administration of justice. 
The cause of most of the trouble during the preceding reigns 
had been the practice of " delation." Even under the Republic 
criminal prosecutions had been the easiest method of obtaining 
political notoriety. Tiberius and Gaius had added the motive 
of pecuniary gain. Claudius now repealed the obnoxious laws 
of treason, punished the laying of information and forbade 
slaves to give evidence against their masters. By the repeal 
of the treason laws Claudius had almost ceased to be a monarch, 
and he was careful to revive the old legislative processes of 
the republic. On the other hand, under Claudius the power of 
the bureaucracy was greatly increased, and the affairs of the 
Empire were principally conducted by the three powerful Greek 

On the death of Claudius when the emperors died in 
their beds poison was invariably alleged Nero succeeded 
almost as a matter of course. His mother Agrippina had 
secured his succession by having him raised to honour just as 
had been done for Tiberius by Augustus. He had already 
been styled "Prince of the Youth," designated for the consul- 
ship and endowed with the proconsular power. There was, 
however, a possible rival in the young Britannicus, and Nero 
was chosen by the praetorian guard just as clearly as Claudius. 
During the first five years, when the young prince was engaged 
in enjoying himself under the guidance of the philosopher 
Seneca, the senate had nothing to fear, and the Roman state 
enjoyed its liberty, but when Tigellinus, the wicked prefect of 
the guard, gained his evil ascendancy over the mind of Nero 
there were some prosecutions of influential senators which 
made the whole senate tremble. Yet, even in these worst days of 
the worst of emperors, good administration proceeded. Nero 
himself made an interesting proposal for the abolition of customs 
in the Empire and, indeed, may fairly be called " The Father of 


Free Trade." But the capitalist class succeeded in suppress- 
ing the proposal. The duties on corn were, however, reduced 
and the collection of taxes carefully regulated. Charges of 
extortion against tax-collectors were given precedence in the 
law courts, a measure of justice beyond anything that the 
modern state has attempted. It was much more the dancing 
and singing of the p-rinceps than the extortions of Tigellinus 
and the judicial murders of noblemen which caused the un- 
popularity which brought Nero to his doom. Among the 
many who fell victims to the ferocity of Tigellinus for Nero 
himself was probably harmless enough were two genuine 
Republicans of the old school, men who were genuine believers 
in the Stoic faith and who kept the birthdays of Brutus and 
Cassius as annual feasts. It is probable that genuine opposition 
of this sort was far from rare among the aristocracy of the 
Empire. Writers like Lucan and Tacitus were evidently in 
sympathy with it, and though Thrasea Paetus and Barea Soranus 
are famous for the Stoic deaths they died, yet they were only 
two out of many who lived wholly on the memory of the 

Nero's fall was caused directly by the defection of the 
praetorian guards, whose allegiance had been bought in the 
name of Galba. Nero was the last member of the Julio- 
Claudian family, and at his death the last shadow of dynastic 
claim passed away. The succession of the principate became 
a mere scramble in which the strongest or the luckiest or the 
heaviest briber won the day. Pretenders sprang up against 
Galba, several of the armies put forward their generals as 
competitors for the throne; and Galba himself had not even 
enough generosity to pay the bribes by which he had secured 
his throne. Thus the year 69 was a year of incessant civil war. 
Galba was murdered in the streets of Rome ; Otho was defeated 
in battle near Bedriacum and slain in his camp, Vitellius ; the 
choice of the legions in Germany, reigned from April to 
December, when Rome was once more occupied by a citizen 
army. The legions of Syria, seeing that their fellow-soldiers 

s 273 


of Spain and Germany had already made their generals into 
emperors, had determined to take a hand in the game, and 
now Vespasian came as the fourth Caesar in the space of a single 

It speaks well for the solidity of the imperial system as 
organised by Augustus that it survived the shock of such 
events as these. It proves that the system was everything and 
the man little or nothing. 

The new Emperor Vespasian, who succeeded after all this 
turmoil, was different from his predecessors in that he had two 
grown-up sons ready to succeed him. It is said that Mucianus, 
a still more powerful Eastern general, had surrendered his 
claims because he was childless. If so, it was nobly and wisely 
done. Vespasian was able and willing to restore the machinery 
of the Augustan principate. He was himself frankly a humble 
Sabine with no claims of birth. He was firm but not oppressive 
towards the senate, and he kept control over the praetorian 
guard by appointing Titus, his son, to its command. He also 
established the succession beyond doubt by making Titus his 
consort. Vespasian and Titus were elected consuls year by 
year. Vespasian's principal work was to restore the financial 
credit of the government. Unfortunately the two sons, Titus, 
and then Domitian, who followed him upon the throne and 
with him make up the "Flavian" dynasty, were scarcely worthy 
of their father. Titus was " the darling of the human race," 
generous and mild to the senators, but too fond of his popu- 
larity to be a strong ruler, and Domitian was a genuine tyrant. 
With his autocratic system of rule he was naturally oppressive 
to the aristocracy, and his name is in consequence written on 
the pages of history as that of a monster of cruelty. Domitian 
certainly made constitutional changes which rendered the 
monarchy a more open fact. He took the consulship for ten 
years to come, he became censor and drew up the senate-roll 
to suit his fancy, he refused the usual request of the senators 
that the emperor should admit that he had no power to con- 
demn a senator to death. Also he openly spurned the proud 


senators and permitted the servile modes of address which 
Augustus and other emperors had forbidden. 

These high-handed proceedings made the senators hate and 
plot against him. Plots were followed by executions, and 
Domitian gradually became more and more tyrannical. More 
of the Stoic Republican party were executed, and the odious 
practice of delation came once more into vogue. At last there 
was a successful plot organised in the palace, and Domitian 
fell to the dagger. 

With the three succeeding emperors, Nerva (96-98), Trajan 
(98-1 17), and Hadrian (i 17-138), we have a series of genuine 
constitutional rulers who show the system of the principate at 
its best. The excellent figure which these rulers cut on the 
page of history is not wholly unconnected with the fact that we 
have now passed beyond the region illuminated by the satire of 
Tacitus and the tittle-tattle of Suetonius. Their deeds speak 
for them. In Nerva we have the senate's choice of a ruler, 
elderly, blameless, but decidedly weak. Had he not died in 
less than two years, he could easily have brought the throne of 
the Caesars down to the ground. Knowing his own weakness, 
Nerva had adopted the foremost soldier of his day as his heir, 
and Trajan, beloved of the soldiers and ready to purchase the 
love of the Rome rabble, succeeded without a murmur. He 
spent most of his reign in the camp. In the camp he died, and 
the succession was by no means clear when Hadrian, a kinsman 
though a distant one, had the courage to seize and the luck to 
hold the imperial power. All these three emperors granted the 
senate's claim that the emperor should not have the power to 
condemn a senator to death, and in some aspects the senate 
seemed to have regained much of its old independence. But 
Trajan was too masterful and Hadrian too ubiquitous to leave 
any real scope for senatorial initiative. It was really under 
these benevolent despots that the Dyarchy ceased to have any 
significance. As usual the benevolence of the despot was the 
most fatal enemy to liberty. Not only in Rome but even in 
the municipalities of Italy politics were ceasing to have any real 



meaning, and men of standing had to be coerced into taking 
part in the comedy. The bureaucracy of the imperial palace 
now governed the world, and the better it governed the more 
quickly did the life-blood of the Roman world run dry in its 
veins. We now find imperial " curators " and accountants 
going up and down the provinces to set their finances in order. 
Whenever there is trouble in any corner of the earth, an imperial 
"corrector" travels down from Rome by the admirable system 
of imperial posts to set it right. Where, of old, a local squire, 
the patronus of the municipality, would leave a charitable 
legacy for the maintenance and education of poor children, the 
state with its admirable system of " alimenta " was beginning 
to assume the responsibility. The state had its Development 
Fund which made loans on mortgage at very low interest, 
generally 5 but sometimes i\ per cent., to small farmers, and 
the interest was applied to orphanages and the education of the 
poor. Nerva has the credit for introducing this splendid 
system of public charity and Hadrian developed it. It was 
Hadrian also who gave the finishing touches to the organisation 
of the civil service as a close bureaucracy entirely divorced 
from the military profession. This service was chiefly in the 
hands of the knights, and it ranged in a carefully graded 
hierarchy of officialdom down from the three principal Secre- 
taries of State, the Finance Minister, the Chief Secretary, and 
the Minister of Petitions, down to the Fiscal Advocates who 
looked after local revenue. Though the Roman Empire is 
often represented as groaning under the weight of taxation, 
and no doubt the more extravagant emperors did amass heavy 
liabilities, yet Hadrian, who followed an emperor extravagant 
both in warfare and building, was able to remit about nine 
millions sterling of arrears due to the fisc. He also introduced 
a system of periodical reassessments and gave the fullest liberty 
for his tenants-in-chief to appeal against the collectors. 
Hadrian it was, also, who really introduced the system of 
installing a junior colleague in the Empire, a plan which 
Augustus had foreshadowed in his elevation of Tiberius. This 



plan produced one of the firmest dynasties which ever held the 
imperial throne, namely, the Antonines, Marcus Aurelius, Titus, 
Antoninus Pius, and Commodus, who ruled from Hadrian's 
death in 138 to 192. The age of the first two Antonines is con- 
sidered by Gibbon and many others to be the culmination of the 
Roman imperial system. 

Two facts of very great importance stand out from this 
hasty review of the principate during its first two centuries. In 
the first place, it is still, in the strict constitutional sense, a com- 
promise. The theory of the constitution had not changed since 
Augustus, if, indeed, it had ever changed. It is still a Republic 
Respublica Romano, governed by senate, consuls, tribunes, 
and an intermittent public assembly. There is, as there nearly 
always had been, a princeps, that is, leading citizen, a man raised 
by personal eminence and prestige far above his colleagues. 
Certain powers are delegated to him by the state. Above all 
he is master of the legions because he has consular or pro- 
consular authority over all the provinces where troops are 
stationed. There still remained certain theoretical limitations 
to his power. He could not, for example, impose a tax on 
Rome or Italy by his own authority. But the feebleness and 
sycophancy of the senate and magistracy made him actually 
omnipotent. When a certain senator was pointed out by 
Caesar's freedman as an enemy to Caesar the doomed man was 
set upon by his colleagues and stabbed to death with their pens 
in the senate-house. It is true that this sycophancy was not 
altogether the fault of the senate. Under the tyrannical 
emperors like Tiberius, Nero, and Domitian, emperors who en- 
couraged the "delator," no senator's life was secure. At a 
frown from Caesar it was customary to go home and open one's 
veins after writing a complimentary will in which one bequeathed 
everything to that best of rulers. This sort of behaviour led 
inevitably to the growth of the monarchy. The emperor was 
the one person who dared to act, and the more capable and 
well-intentioned the ruler, the more closely were the fetters 
riveted around the necks of the Roman People. The silent 



growth of bureaucracy, of which the historians have little to 
tell us, but which we can gather from the inscriptions of the 
period, is both the symptom and the cause of this increasing 
power of the principate. 

In the second place, it is important to notice that although 
the city of Rome was growing marvellously in riches and 
splendour, she was losing her old domination in the world, 
and becoming the capital instead of the mistress of the Empire. 
The magistracies of the city had almost ceased to have any 
importance except as inferior grades on the road to proconsul- 
ships. Italy herself was sinking into the position of one among 
the provinces of the Empire, and with the growth of Hadrian's 
centralised system of imperial administration even the provinces 
were losing their significance as units of government. It seems 
impossible that almost the whole of Europe and large parts of 
Asia and Africa could ever have been governed by one man or 
even one bureau. Yet it was almost achieved by the Roman 
Empire. The world-state was almost a fact, and a few more 
Trajans and Hadrians would have accomplished it. The city- 
state idea, as a unit of patriotism, still flourished. But with 
the great roads stretching like railways to the four corners 
of the earth, and the imperial officers travelling along them, 
with the legions massed along the frontiers and men recruited 
in Spain sent to serve in Britain, the sense of territory, from 
which the modern state was to arise, began to develop itself. 


If the external history of the Empire has suffered by being 
so largely in the hands of the opposition, the intimate life of 
the city has been still more distorted through being written 
for us by satirists. The humorous or venomous descriptions 
of Juvenal, Martial, and Petronius form our principal source of 
information, and Pliny, who gives us a very different picture 
of tranquil and cultivated leisure or of useful activity carried on 
in refined and elegant surroundings, has commonly been regarded 
as a remarkable exception. Yet the material remains are on 


the side of Pliny ; and we owe a great debt to modern writers, 
like Dr. Dill, who have been able to emphasise this point. 
Romances such as those of Lytton, Melville, and Sienckewicz 
have embroidered the theme of Juvenal, and everybody nowa- 
days has his vision of Imperial Rome based upon such fairy- 
tales. It is probably vain to attempt a refutation of the popular 
view which pictures the Roman of the Empire as exclusively 
spending his time in the amphitheatre watching the lions 
devour the Christians, except when he was supping on nightin- 
gales' tongues from plates of gold. Moreover these things are 
a not unimportant part of the truth. Imperial Rome remained 
as bloody and brutal in its amusements as Republican Rome. 
In fact, as the emperors were not only richer than the old 
senators, but also much more carefully watched and bitterly 
lampooned, so the number of wild beasts slain at a venatio of 
Trajan exceeded the slaughters exhibited by Pompeius. Doubt- 
less the imperial epicure Apicius excelled the republican glutton 
Lucullus in the variety of his menu, and the lascivious enter- 
tainments of Petronius Arbiter and his master Nero certainly 
dwarfed the attempts of Sulla. At heart it was the same 
Roman People, enjoying the same stupid pleasures and violent 
sensations under circumstances of greater magnificence and 
refinement. It was a society founded on slavery, acknowledging 
no limits to the free indulgence of pleasure. But one miscon- 
ception must be combated. The whole imperial period of five 
centuries should not be regarded as one slippery Gadarene 
slope down which the Romans were hurrying to destruction. 
Fashions came and went. Extravagance was at its height 
under Nero : there was a reaction towards greater simplicity 
under Vespasian. Under Trajan and Hadrian life was orderly 
and refined. Under M. Aurelius philosophy was even more 
fashionable than vice. Nor was bloodshed the only form of 
public enjoyment ; the amphitheatres often presented spectacles 
quite as inoffensive and much more splendid than our modern 
hippodromes and circuses. Chariot- racing, in particular, though 
a good deal more dangerous than the modern steeplechase, 



took its place along with gladiators and beast-baiting as the 
popular sport, and the Romans showed as much enthusiasm 
for Coryphseus and Hirpinus as we do for our Ormondes and 
Persimmons. The charioteer Lacerna had as much vogue with 
them as had Fred Archer with our fathers, and they took sides 
with the Prasina Factio even more seriously than we do with 
Light or Dark Blue oarsmen. The Romans had an inherited 
taste for blood. There were philosophers who condemned 
gladiatorial shows, but the defence of the ancient sportsman 
was similar to and perhaps not less true than the modern fox- 
hunter's excuse: the gladiators themselves enjoyed the fun 
almost as much as the spectators. 

On the whole, apart from its follies, material civilisation 
was steadily advancing during the whole period at present 
under review. In such matters as transit, public health, police, 
water-supply, engineering, building, and so forth, Rome of the 
second century left off pretty much where the reign of Queen 
Victoria was to resume. The modern city of Rome is obtain- 
ing its drinking-water out of about three of the nine great 
aqueducts which ministered to the imperial city. The hot-air 
system which warms the hotels of modern Europe and America 
was in general use in every comfortable villa of the first century 
A.D. Education was more general and more accessible to the 
poor in A.D. 200 than in A.D. 1850. The siege artillery employed 
by Trajan was as effective, probably, as the cannon of Vauban. 

The city of Rome must have been a wonderful spectacle 
under the emperors. One of our modern international exhi- 
bitions might faintly recall a little of its splendours, with gilt 
and stucco for gold and marble. Northward from the slope of 
the Aventine Hill there was a succession of majestic public 
buildings, temple beyond temple, forum beyond forum, as each 
of the great emperors had added to the work of his predecessor 
and endeavoured to eclipse it. At your feet would be the 
Circus Maximus, where the chariot-races were held, and 
behind it the Palatine Hill crowded with palaces. To the east 
of it ran the Triumphal Road passing through the Arch of 

The Roman Forum in the early Empire 


Constantine to the Colossus of Nero and the mighty Flavian 
Amphitheatre known to us as the Colosseum. From there the 
Sacred Way led north-west through the Arch of Titus past the 
Temple of Venus and Rome and the Basilica of Constantine to 
a series of stately fora, opening one from the other and con- 
taining altars, columns, arches, statues, and temples surrounded 
with shady colonnades, whose cloisters served for business and 
pleasure. Above them on the west rose the ancient Capitoline 
Hill crowned with its great Temple of Jupiter and immemorial 
citadel. Picture these magnificent spaces filled with grave 
citizens in their flowing white togas, hurrying slaves in their 
bright tunics, visitors and barbarians from all corners of the 
earth, trousered Gauls, skin-clad Sarmatians, mitred Parthians. 
Every now and then the burly gladiators swagger through the 
crowd admired by every one, or a procession of the shaven 
begging priests of Isis passes by with strange cries and 
gestures. Perhaps the lictors come swinging down the hill 
bidding every one make way for the slaves who carry the litter 
of the emperor who is on his way to sacrifice. Or fancy the 
crowd in the Great Amphitheatre, which held more than eighty 
thousand spectators, with the purple and gold awnings spread 
to protect them from the blazing sunshine, the auditorium per- 
fumed with scents and cooled by fountains, and the arena at 
their feet flooded with water to present a naval combat. It is 
a city wrapped in profound peace, still dreaming amid its 
splendours that it is the mistress of the world. 

And these signs of magnificent material riches were not 
confined to Rome. Alexandria would almost rival her. 
Asiatic towns like Ephesus and Antioch presented a similar 
appearance of luxury and opulence. In the north Lugudunum 
and even Londinium had a splendour of their own. In Gades 
Spain had a handsome and highly civilised capital. The Roman 
remains at Trier utterly dwarf the comfortable erections of a 
prosperous modern town. Out in the desert at Palmyra* and 
Ba'albek \ there were rising into existence those huge buildings 

* Plate 59. f Plates 60, 61, 63, 63. 




which testify to the industry fostered by the provincial govern- 
ment of the emperors. Along the sea-coast of Campania there 
were sea-fronts of continuous villas whose marble fragments are 
still washed up in the Bay of Naples. It tasks the imagination 
of genius to conjure up that glowing world of the past out of 
the ruined foundations which remain. Turner's famous picture 
of Baiae represents a successful attempt to do so. Pompeii, 
wonderful as it is, was only a very small and obscure country 
town. Yet it was lavishly provided with temples, baths, 
theatre, and amphitheatre. 

On the coast of North Africa, where nothing but man's 
labour organised under a good government is required to make 
the desert blossom as a rose, there was a teeming population 
which prospered on agriculture. Timgad (Thamugadi) was 
founded in the year 100 as a colony by Trajan, and it was the 
head-quarters of the Third Legion. Here, in the blank desert 
of to-day, the French explorers have revealed porticoes and 
colonnades, a forum, a municipal senate-house, a theatre, a 
capitol, rostra, a triumphal arch, baths, shrines, and temples, 
together with the aqueduct and fountains which alone made all 
this splendour possible.* For public munificence this age is 
unequalled in history. It must have been a very powerful 
sense of patriotism which compelled every rich man to devote 
so large a part of his fortune to the embellishment of his native 
town. The benefactions of the modern millionaire seem 
miserly in comparison. Pliny, who was not a very rich man as 
wealth was accounted in his day, presented his native town of 
Como with a library at a cost of nearly .9000, and maintained 
it with an annual endowment of more than ^800. He offered 
to contribute one-third to the cost of a secondary school, and 
made the wise provision that the parents of the boys should 
contribute the rest, in order that they might feel an interest in 
the school and take pains in the choice of suitable teachers. 
He gave nearly ,5000 more for the support of poor children. 
He bequeathed more than .4000 for public baths and nearly 

* Plate 64. 



,000 to his freedmen and for public feasts. And, as Dr. 
Dill has pointed out, the inscriptions of every municipal town 
prove that this princely generosity and patriotism were by no 
means the exception. " There was in those days an immense 
civic ardour, an almost passionate rivalry, to make the mother 
city a more pleasant and a more splendid home." Among the 
most princely of these benefactors was the Athenian Professor 
of Rhetoric, Herodes Atticus, who added a new quarter to 
Athens in the reign of Hadrian. 

Perhaps the most remarkable feature of life in the Roman 
Empire under the good emperors of the second century is the 
growth of a lower class with occupations and ideals of its own. 
We have already remarked that the poor free Roman of 
republican days scarcely emerges into the light except as a 
soldier. But now the inscriptions show us a happy and in- 
dustrious class of artisans and humble tradesmen, grading down 
through the freedmen to the slaves, many of whom now lived 
and worked under quite tolerable conditions of life. Especially 
noteworthy is the social tendency of the day. Every occupa- 
tion and craft was forming its guilds or "collegia" about which 
the inscriptions give us full and most interesting details. The 
collegia were not quite Friendly Societies, and still less Trade 
Unions, though they undoubtedly claimed political privileges 
and perhaps even made some attempt at collective bargaining 
with the public. Sometimes they obtained exemption from 
taxation. They dined together, they had their chapels and 
festivals, their colours and processions. They had officers 
modelled on the old Roman magistracy, with senators as com- 
mittee and a queestor as treasurer. They had their list of 
patrons who were expected to earn the honour by generosity. 
In the main they were burial clubs. Even slaves, and even 
gladiators, the most despised of slaves, had their guilds and 
fraternities : of course they were regulated by the state. 

As yet, in spite of its growing centralisation and spirit of 
paternal despotism, the Roman government was true to its 
ancient principle of allowing full local autonomy. The municipal 


life of a small Campanian town like Pompeii afforded scope 
for local ambition and a political ardour to which the election 
posters and the inscriptions scratched or scribbled on the walls 
bear eloquent witness.* Sometimes the name of the candidate 
is written with the laconic addition v. 6., " a good man," or it 
may be " Please make P. Furius duumvir, he's a good man." 
But occasionally the commendations are more explicit : " a most 
modest young man," "he will look after the treasury," "worthy 
of public office," and so forth. Sometimes a trade-guild 
supports its candidate. Thus the liquor interest in politics is 
already noticeable in A.D. 70. The humour of the opposition is 
seen in such a poster as " the pickpockets request the election 
of Vatia as aedile." And the intrusion of the feminine element 
is to be observed in " Claudium Hvir. animula facit " (" His 
little darling is working for Claudius as duumvir "). The wit 
of the Pompeian wall-scribe was brighter, though not always 
cleaner, than that of his modern counterpart. There is the 
proud inscription "Restitutus has often deceived many girls," 
but there are also testimonies of conjugal affection like " Hirtia, 
the Dewdrop, always and everywhere sends hearty greeting to 
C. Hostilius, the Gnat, her husband, shepherd and gentle 
counsellor." There is also an interesting account from a 
bakery : 

i Ib. of oil 6d. bran gel. 

straw "j\d. a neck-wreath $\d. 

hay zs. oil gal. 

a day's wages >]\d. 

We find advertisements like " Scaurus's tunny jelly, Blossom 
Brand, put up by Eutyches, slave of Scaurus." 


A noticeable feature of the times was the wide diffusion of 
education. Every one, it seems, could read and write, even the 
slaves, even the humble British workman. Many a Pompeian 
schoolboy has scribbled a line from Vergil, or Ovid, or 

* Plates 65, 66. 



Propertius. Many an adult has added his or her original 
compositions. We have seen in the case of Pliny how the rich 
men interested themselves in the foundation of schools, both 
primary and secondary, for their native towns. In the Greek 
world, as maybe expected, education was most highly developed 
and thoroughly graded from the elementary to the university 
stage. For elementary schools the voluntary system was in 
vogue, but it was under careful public supervision, and, as we 
have seen, the state undertook the maintenance of poor children, 
girls as well as boys. In contrast to the present day, the 
teachers were often held in high honour, and many a public 
inscription testifies to the gratitude of a town towards its 
schoolmasters. That they also received more substantial 
recognition is proved by the fact that they were often able to 
leave handsome benefactions themselves. They were elected, 
sometimes after an examination or after giving specimen lessons, 
by the local education committees, with religious ceremonies, 
and they took an oath of office on entering upon their duties. 
They had their unions and associations like other professions. 
In one inscription found in Callipolis, " The young men and the 
lads and the boys and their teachers" unite to confer a wreath 
of honour upon one of the mathematical masters. The teachers 
seem to have been subject to annual election or re-election. 
There were also visiting masters of special subjects. The 
Greek secondary school tended to lay much stress upon athletics, 
but it gave more attention to music and religion than similar 
institutions of to-day. Reading, writing, and arithmetic together 
with music, dancing, and drill were the staple subjects of the 
elementary school. "Rhetoric," which meant the study of 
literature on the technical side, as well as the practice of 
declamations, was the main occupation in the high schools and 
the universities. But philosophy, moral and physical, was also 
carefully studied. University professors often rose to real 

In the polite world of Rome, literature was extremely 
fashionable. Everybody was writing and insisting upon 



reading his compositions to his friends. These literary labours 
were often pursued with amazing diligence. Both Pliny and 
his uncle devoted themselves to reading and writing almost from 
morning to night, and Pliny the Younger tells how he was 
laughed at for carrying his notebooks with him even when he 
was out boar-hunting. By the time he was fourteen he had 
written a Greek tragedy. His sketch of a day's doings at his 
country villa shows the literary perseverance of a Roman 
gentleman. He rose at six and began to compose in his bed- 
room. Then he would summon his secretary to take down the 
result from dictation. At ten or eleven he would continue his 
work in some shady colonnade, or under the trees in the 
garden, after which he drove out, still reading. "A short 
siesta, a walk, declamation in Greek and Latin, after the habit 
of Cicero, gymnastic exercise, and the bath, filled the space 
until dinner-time arrived." Even during dinner a book was 
read aloud and the evening was enlivened by acting or music 
or conversation. Many of Pliny's friends, such as Suetonius 
and Silius Italicus, emulated this studious existence, and his 
uncle even excelled it. The elder Pliny consulted two thousand 
volumes in the writing of his Natural History alone, and he 
left one hundred and sixty volumes of closely written notes and 
excerpts. Nor was this an unimportant circle of literary book- 
worms. On the contrary, it was the highest society of the day. 
The elder Pliny was on terms of daily intercourse with the 
Emperor Vespasian, and the younger Pliny besides being 
governor of Bithynia was intimate with Trajan. 

At first sight we may find it strange that all this strenuous de- 
votion to study produced so little in the way of first-rate original 
literature. It 'is of course customary to ascribe the decline 
assuming that it was a decline of the Golden Age of Augustan 
literature into the Silver Latin of Tacitus and Juvenal to the 
tyranny of emperors like Tiberius and Nero. It is perfectly 
true that Tiberius made it dangerous for senatorial historians 
to praise the murderers of a Caesar. But that is a ludicrously 
inadequate explanation for the eclipse of literature. The 



experience of Vergil showed that it was possible for a great 
loyalist to win fortune and glory amounting to idolisation. The 
senators who wanted to continue their school declamations 
against tyranny were certainly discouraged, but there was still 
plenty of room for literary activity. The truth is, as we have 
seen, that Augustan literature was not the work of a young 
Rome, but of an old and perhaps already declining Graeco- 
Roman culture. Again it was literary, not political, causes 
which led to literary decline. Tacitus, who had for his themes 
the conquest of Britain and the wars in Germany and the East, 
the Siege of Jerusalem, the burning of Rome, the tragic Year 
of the Four Emperors, the crimes and follies of Nero, and the 
development of the great imperial system, complains of the lack 
of interest in the history of his own times compared with those 
of the heroic past. The tyranny that depressed literature 
was of its own making, the tyranny of convention, classicism 
and erudition. To take poetry, though so many noble writers 
were toying with the epic, they only produced the pedantic 
Tkebaid oi Statius, the weary Argonauticon of Silius Italicus, 
an imitation of an imitation of Homer, and the Pharsalia of 
Lucan, which, though it contains many a brilliant epigram and 
memorable phrase, is to the majority of mankind almost un- 
readable. This is simply because Lucan was consciously pursuing 
the path which Vergil had pointed out and producing work 
which was the logical succession to the style of the sEneid. 
The Pharsalia is unmixed declamation, rhetoric shouting at 
top pitch on page after page. Vergil had accomplished the 
literary epic to perfection : to carry it any further in the same 
direction was to incur tediousness. Above all, both Lucan and 
Silius lacked the greatest of all Vergil's gifts, his wonderful 
ear for verbal music. Vergil, like Milton, presented his epic 
diluted for mortal ears with music and human nature. It 
was not in the spirit that Lucan failed. He admired the 
republican cause and Pompeius, its champion, quite as sincerely 
as Vergil admired Augustus or Milton Cromwell. Thus it 
was not politics, but the literary gift which caused his failure, 





at least his failure to hold the ear of to-day. Past generations 
have esteemed him high among the world's poets. Dante 
owed not a little to Lucan and Statius as well as to Vergil. 

It was only in its lighter forms that poetry continued to 
make progress. The Silvce of Statius, which were shorter 
occasional poems in elegiac or lyric measures thrown off at 
odd moments with ease and rapidity, are far more interesting 
than his frigid epic. Martial, the Spanish writer of vers de 
socittd, has a pretty wit that is often surprisingly modern in 
its tone. Certainly Juvenal towers overfall others who have 
attempted satire. Horace had been content with an easy 
familiarity of tone which might wheedle a friend into the path 
of good sense by poking fun at his follies. Juvenal thunders 
his denunciations of wickedness with a moral heat which is 
surprising in an age often accused of feebleness. He does, 
however, resemble Lucan in spoiling some of his effects by 
want of light and shade, by a too-persistent flow of rhetoric. 
He seems unable to distinguish between harmless follies like 
playing the flute and real delinquencies like murdering one's 
mother. He clearly draws far too black a picture of the men 
and morals of his day. But the pulpit from which he preaches 
is a high one. 

If Juvenal is supreme over the poets of his time, Tacitus is 
as clearly monarch of the prose-writers. He was continuing 
the work of Livy and writing from the same republican 
standpoint. But for history-writing he had certainly discovered 
a finer style of rhetoric. Both are rhetoricians first and 
historians a long way after, but the packed epigrams of Tacitus 
say more in a line than Livy is capable of thinking in a chapter. 
In describing a battle, a riot, or a panic, or in painting some 
tragic scene, such as the death of Vitellius, Tacitus is un- 
equalled. The freedom that was permitted to him and 
Suetonius in depicting the crimes and follies of the earlier 
Caesars affords remarkable evidence of the freedom of letters 
under Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian. Here, again, it is necessary, 
as in the case of Juvenal, to beware of accepting too literally 

T 289 


the severity of his criticisms upon the preceding generation. 
To praise the past at the expense of the present was one of the 
traditions of Roman literature. But Tacitus was the last of 
Rome's great historians and his loss was irreparable. 

All the erudition of the age added little to the real advance 
of learning except in the domain of law. Industrious compilers 
like Pliny the elder have preserved a great deal of ancient 
lore for our study, but they are for the most part utterly un- 
critical and unscientific. There were no scientific thinkers like 
Aristotle in the Roman world. Still, some text-books which 
served the Middle Ages for instruction were produced under 
the principate, such as Vitruvius on architecture, Strabo and 
Pomponius Mela on geography, Columella on agriculture, 
Quintilian on rhetoric, and Galen on medicine. The latter 
was state-physician to Marcus Aurelius and was employed by 
him to study and combat the terrible plague which the Roman 
army brought back from the East. But for medical science 
he added little to his Greek master Hippocrates. In just the 
same way, the philosophers came no nearer to the core of reality 
than their masters of the fourth and third centuries before 
Christ, hard though they toiled and much as they spoke and 
wrote. They were indeed learning, what the old Greeks had 
failed or scorned to learn, how to apply doctrines to life, but in 
depth of thought they were so far behind that they ceased even 
to be able to comprehend Aristotle. Even Philo, the profound 
and learned Jewish philosopher, is doing little more than to 
attempt an application of Platonic and other Greek ideas to the 
teaching of Moses. Such originality as there was in the world 
of letters still proceeded mainly from the provinces. Greece 
was still putting forth original contributors to literature like 
the novelist Lucian, the biographer and moralist Plutarch, 
Pausanias the guide-book writer, Dio Chrysostom and 
Apollonius the preachers. Africa produced a novelist in the 
mysterious quack-magician Apuleius. Spain sent forth a 
whole galaxy of talent in the two Senecas, Martial, Lucan, and 
Quintilian. The younger Seneca, Nero's complacent tutor, is 

o A 



perhaps the most typical figure in the literature of the principate. 
Trained as a rhetorician, like all the men of his day, his literary 
work consists of rhetorical drama and rhetorical philosophy, 
including some rhetorical science. No writer has ever attained 
to such a position of wealth and honour by the exercise of his 
pen. It cannot be said that Seneca's position was gained 
without defilement, or that it brought him happiness. He was 
largely responsible by his weak compliance for the deteriora- 
tion of character in his imperial pupil. If so, it brought its own 
retribution, for Nero drove him to suicide. Though Seneca's 
tragedies are neglected to-day, they formed the connecting- 
link between Euripides and the stage of the Renaissance. 

It will be seen that the principal defect of thought and 
literature under the Empire was its lack of originality. But, 
after all, that had always been the deficiency of Roman writers. 
It was due very largely to the overwhelming incubus of Greek 
civilisation, from whose leading-strings the Romans, to the 
end of time, never escaped. That in its turn arose chiefly 
through the nature of their education which turned all their A 
attention to style as the end of literary endeavour. Any one 
who would argue against a classical education could find no 
better argument than the relations between the two "classical " 


With art it is much the same story; for the decoration of 
their villas and colonnades the Romans of the Empire con- 
tinued to prefer their statues imported from Greece. Pausanias 
shows us that Greece, even in the second century A.D., was still 
teeming with works of art of every kind. Impoverished and 
shrunken as the old Greek cities were at this period, it shows 
some high-mindedness that they still retained treasures which 
would have fetched millions in the Trans-Adriatic markets. 
There was, however, a brisk trade in copies and imitations of 
the masterpieces. For statues, then, the Greek work of the 
fifth and fourth centuries almost destroyed any attempt at 



originality by the Romans. Only in portraiture was there 
much progress, and here work of great power and vigour was 
produced. It reaches the zenith perhaps under the Flavian 
emperors, but their successors of the Antonine period and later 
are often depicted on their busts with triumphant but unsparing 
realism. The bust of Philip the Arabian in the Vatican is 
one of the most striking. Sometimes it almost seems as if 
there was a malicious spirit of caricature in these too faithful 
portraits. Can Marcus Aurelius, the philosopher prince, have 
presented to the world a visage so weak and so tonsorially 
perfect?* Can Caracalla have borne his bloody mind so 
visibly written on his face ? f In portraiture, there is certainly 
progress and not decay. 

Otherwise, to judge by the remains, sculptors were almost 
confined to bas-relief. This was the medium chosen by emperor 
after emperor for the narration of his exploits, and advances 
were unquestionably made in the art of pictorial or narrative 
sculpture. That this is a high art in itself may, I think, be 
contested. One cannot escape from a sense of the practical 
futility of telling the history of the Dacian Wars on a serpen- 
tine band of ornament which soared away out of sight. It is 
rather characteristic of the plodding Roman, who so often lost 
sight of the wood in his faithful contemplation of the trees. If 
we look for the end to which this art of narrative relief was 
tending, we shall find it on the basis of the column of Antoninus 
Pius preserved in the Vatican garden.J These cavalrymen 
placidly gyrating round the group of standard-bearers, each on 
his own little shelf, are so extremely life-like as to recall 
nothing in the world so much as pieces of gingerbread. We 
begin to perceive that Madame Tussaud would have been 
hailed as a great creative artist in Imperial Rome. Neverthe- 
less, without subscribing to all the superlatives of Mrs. Strong, 
we may admit that Art was still alive and vigorous and still 
scoring fresh technical triumphs in the Antonine period and 
even later. 

* Plate 67, Fig. 2. t Plate 68, Fig. i. J Plate 69. 



Roman archaeologists have recently worked out the history 
of Imperial Art with some precision. The reign of Tiberius 
continued the classical tendencies of Augustus. Under 
Claudius there was great constructional activity, mainly of a 
utilitarian character. The Claudian aqueduct, whose immense 
arches in brick still break the level horizon of the Campagna, 
is one of the greatest works of this period.* Nero's was an age 
of Greek curio-hunting; much of Rome was rebuilt after the 
great fire in his reign and the Golden House must have been a 
stupendous sight. But on his death the Romans made haste 
to obliterate all traces of his work. The Flavian epoch was 
the culminating-point of Roman art. Vespasian destroyed 
Nero's Golden House and restored the Capitol. He and his 
sons built the baths of Titus, the Arch of Titus f with the 
celebrated Jewish relief, and the mighty Flavian Amphitheatre, 
the Colosseum. J This was built in the style already noticed in 
the theatre of Marcellus, namely, with the three Greek orders of 
architecture, Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian, adorning the three 
stories of the fagade ; but here, as so often, the Greek fagade 
is a mere shell to hide the solid Roman masonry of which 
the building is really constructed. It is noteworthy that 
the monuments of this |age refute the historians who allege 
among Domitian's other sins that he tried to destroy the works 
and the memory of Titus, his more popular brother. In the 
technical language of Wickhoff, this Flavian Age shows us 
" illusionism " at its height in art. Under Trajan, and in his 
famous column, the art of continuous narration in low relief is 
fully developed. Hadrian, the cultured, travelling Philhellene, 
encouraged a reversion to the classical traditions of Greek art. 
The art of his period was profoundly influenced by the type of 
Antinous, a beautiful youth beloved by the emperor, whose 
romantic death by drowning in the Nile made a powerful 
impression upon the whole Roman world, because he was 
believed to have sacrificed his life for his emperor's in obedience 
to an oracle. This type is preserved for us in many forms, but 

* Plate 70. f plate 7 1 . Fig- l I Plate 72. Plate 73. 



most notably in the colossal Mondragore bust in the Louvre* 
and the bas-relief in the Villa Albani.f His features were 
utilised to represent all the young male gods on Olympus. In 
their tragic beauty we see a mirror of Greece tinged by the 
Orient, as if Dionysus had wedded Isis and this were the off- 
spring. The Antonine period, as exhibited on the panels in the 
Palazzo dei Conservatori, is gifted with immense technical 
fluency and, as Mrs. Strong remarks, a new spiritual serious- 
ness. As compositions they are superb, but the weakness of 
expression in the face of Marcus Aurelius himself quite spoils 
their effect for some spectators.J 

Architecture was still mainly designed in the three Greek 
modes variously combined, in spite of the fact that Rome had 
progressed far beyond Greek limits in constructional ability. 
Roman builders could manage a roof-span far in excess of the 
Greeks. The Roman arch gave a strength in concrete vaulting 
which expensive marble was unable to attain. Roman brick- 
work denuded of the marble incrustations which generally 
covered it of old is probably more impressive in its ruins than 
it was when it was draped with Hellenism, and, to me at least, 
remains like the aqueduct at Pont du Gard and the Bridge of 
Alcantara 1 1 seem truer witnesses of the grandeur of Rome than 
all the marbles in all the museums. The celebrated Castle of 
St. Angelo, which still keeps watch and ward over the Tiber, is 
nothing but the core of Hadrian's tomb the Moles Hadriani 
once clad in a vestment of Greek marbles and covered with 
Greek ornament.^ The Pantheon, in spite of the inscription 
which ascribes it to Agrippa, is proved by the marks on its 
bricks to be a restoration of Hadrian's time. It is indeed a 
superb example of vaulting and a miracle of construction. 
The plan is that of a dome so constructed that if the sphere 
were complete it would rest upon the earth. The magnificent 
interior has lost little of its ancient splendour.** 

For temple architecture, although the Romans had adopted 

* Plate 75, Fig. i. t Plate 76. % Plate 77. Plate 29. 
|| Plate 81. IT Plate 82. ** Plate 45. 

q u 





the forms of Greek art they had wholly deserted the spirit of 
austere self-restraint upon which that art had rested. Thus 
they readily adopted the luxuriance of the East when it came 
to hand. In the splendid ruins of Heliopolis (Ba'albek) and 

Moles Hadriani : restored 

Palmyra we see a riotous luxuriance of ornament which would 
have shocked the religious sense of Ictinus, but which fitly 
enshrined the ritual and mysteries of the Sungod. This craze 
for the colossal would have made the reverential Greeks 
tremble in fear of provoking the Nemesis of a jealous Heaven, 
but in its ruins it has left us superb and awful reminders of the 
riches and grandeur of its authors, and of the end of all riches 
and grandeur. 

In domestic building the Romans had almost as little 
regard as the Greeks for the exterior elevation of their villas 
and palaces. The Roman gentleman still made it his favourite 
hobby to collect villas, and Pliny had almost as many as 
Cicero. But the main idea of the villa was comfort, and the 



main idea of Roman comfort was coolness, quiet, and beauti- 
ful scenery. Thus the wealthy man's house consisted of a 
series of marble courts and cloisters spread over the ground 
regardless of space. Landscape and landscape-gardening 
were the most charming features. The Roman appreciated 
the scenery of Como or Sirmione, Tivoli or Naples quite as 
keenly as the tourist of to-day. He thought much of fresh air 
and good water. Nearly all Roman gentlemen were agreed in 
considering Rome itself, with its smells, its noise, and its 
perils by fire, as a pestilent place of abode, and they gladly fled 
to their country estates at Prseneste or Baiae. Hadrian's villa 
at Tivoli * included reproductions of many famous buildings 
which he had seen and admired on his travels. The decoration of 
these villas encouraged two minor arts which figure prominently 
among their remains. The floors were commonly adorned with 
marble mosaic, of which we still have some charming examples, f 
The interior walls were incrusted either with marble, in the 
wealthier houses, or stuccoed and painted. Hence, it results 
that the Art of Painting is represented to us almost solely by 
mosaics, wall-frescoes, J and a few portraits on Egyptian mummy- 
cases. Nothing remains of the great masters of antiquity, 
Polygnotus, Zeuxis, and Apelles. But there maybe faint echoes 
of their work on the frescoes of Pompeii executed by unnamed 
decorators. Even so there is great charm in much of this 
work. Professor Mau, the great authority on Pompeii, has 
distinguished four successive phases of painting in that city. 
At first the aim was to imitate the marble slabs used to cover 
the walls of the rich man's house. Then growing bolder the 
painter imitates various forms of architectural treatment 
dividing up his wall space into panels and portraying cornices, 
columns, pilasters, and so forth. This is roughly the style of 
the first century B.C., and it is found in the so-called house of 
Livia on the Palatine Hill at Rome. The third style, which 
Mau terms the "ornate," was prevalent until about A.D. 50. 

* Plate 83. ( Plate 84. 

I Plate 85. Plate 89. 




The architectural features now make no pretence at illusion. 
The columns have become mere bands of colour, and there is 
profuse ornament everywhere. The colours are somewhat cold. 
The fourth or "intricate" style once more emphasises the 
architectural character of the decoration, but the patterns are 
too intricate to present'any appearance of reality. The whole 
wall space shows a riot of fantastic ornament often extremely 
graceful and effective. Flying goddesses and cupids impart a 
sense of airy lightness, and floral forms festoon themselves in 
charming curves. The pictures are smaller and the spaces 
wider. No more pleasing treatment of the interior walls of a 
house has ever been devised, at any rate for warm climates. 
The destruction of Pompeii by the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 
79 brings the history of ancient painting to a premature 
close.* The subjects of the pictures are almost exclusively 

The minor arts of the jeweller, the gem-engraver, the gold- 
smith reach a high state of technical perfection, but they do 
not improve in spirit or artistic feeling with the progress of the 
ages. Much of the furniture found at Pompeii and Herculaneum, 
especially the bronze- work, f exhibits most graceful forms, always 
Greek in inspiration. 


The greatest intellectual achievement of the Roman people 
was in the domain of law. The spiritual endowment of the 
typical Roman included all the qualities of the lawyer a sense 
of equity that was quite devoid of sentimentalism, an instinct 
for order, discipline, and business, a language of great clarity 
and precision, and above all, a devotion to ceremonies and 
formulae which sternly rejected abstract casuistry. Their law 
took its rise in a series of religious formulae known only to 
priests and to the king as chief priest. The Twelve Tables put 
some of the most ancient principles into words, and partly from 
their use as a text-book of education, were regarded almost with 

* Plates 87, 88,90. f Plate 91. 



as much veneration as the Two Tables of Moses. They were, 
in fact, sometimes considered as the sole fountain of juris- 
prudence, or at any rate as the sole code of written law. The 
legislative enactments of the State were on a far lower plane 
and no ancient people ever considered its legislature capable of 
turning out a daily quota of legislation as modern parliaments 
are supposed to do. In the main the fabric of Roman juris- 
prudence consisted of " case law " made by the judges on the 
tribunals. The Praetor Urbanus made the Civil Law of Rome, 
and this became permanent by means of the system of Per- 
petual Edicts. Religion continued to control the international 
law of the Roman world, an affair of ceremonies in the hands 
of the priestly college of heralds the jus fetiale. But, mean- 
while, the pr&tor peregrinus who had to decide cases between 
non-citizens was gradually accumulating a body of law, wrongly 
termed international, in the jus gentium. It was observed 
that there was a great deal in common between the various 
codes of the Italian and other Mediterranean States, and this 
was put together in the foreign praetor's edict. The more 
philosophical jurists, inspired with the Stoic doctrines about 
following nature, evolved the theory that this common element 
of various nations was nothing but the Natural Law, jus 
natures. It was a fruitful error, and it lies at the base of 
much of the modern "international law" as expounded by 
Grotius and other seventeenth-century jurists. 

The Civil Law of Rome was in the main, then, a series of 
precedents handed down by praetor to praetor from times beyond 
record. To it was added a large body of " counsel's opinions " 
which drew their validity largely from the eminence of their 
authors. It was Hadrian who set about the systematisation of 
these. He organised the jurisprudentes into a regular pro- 
fession. He appointed his " counsellors " from the leading 
barristers of the day, and he gave to the whole body of res- 
ponsa prudentium, "the opinions of the learned," the validity 
of statutory law. The justice and precision of the civil law 
was the most attractive feature of Roman civilisation to the 


barbarian world. Gallic and British communities made haste 
to learn Latin in order that they might gain the " Latin right" 
which admitted them to the privilege of enjoying Roman 
law. In A.D. 212, Caracalla, who did little else to deserve 
the gratitude of posterity, uttered a single edict called the 
" Antonine Constitution " which admitted the whole empire to 
the privileges of Roman citizenship. Now a single code ran 
throughout the whole Western world. Hadrian had set his 
most distinguished lawyers, under the leadership of Salvius 
Julianus, to codify the "perpetual edict" of the praetors. It 
was under the Antonines that some citizen from the East, who is 
only known to us by the common praenomen of Gaius, wrote 
those learned " Institutes of Roman Law " which are still the 
nursery of our lawyers. But it was the great Eastern emperor 
Justinian (A.D. 527-565) who codified the whole body of civil 
law in a series of immense documents. Roman law had already 
conquered its barbarian conquerors, the Goths, and almost 
every European legal system except our own is based upon 
that ancient law which arose from the Twelve Tables and the 
praetor's edict. The canon law of the Church was Roman law 
in its essence. 


Much attention has been paid in recent years to the religious 
development of the Romans under the Empire, and to the 
momentous conflict of religions which was going on from the 
age of Hadrian until the final triumph of Christianity. 
Humanly speaking, it was "touch and go" between several 
religions competing for the vacant place in the faith of the 
Empire, and at the last the strife was practically narrowed 
down to a duel between two oriental monotheistic systems, 
Mithraism * and Christianity. The subject is too vast for any- 
thing like adequate treatment here. But I would emphasise 
one point of view which is often overlooked. 

The Roman state is too often regarded merely as the enemy 

* Plate 92. 



and persecutor of the Christian religion. It is forgotten how 
large a share Rome may claim in its establishment. Not only 
did the Romans discover Christianity, but they organised it 
and sent it forth conquering and to conquer in the wake of the 
legions. It is not a case of a wicked and corrupt people 
suddenly converted in the midst of its sins. On the contrary 
it is easy to show that the thinkers of the Roman Empire were 
tending towards philosophic and religious ideas which made 
them ready to accept with astonishing rapidity both the ethical 
teaching and the theological revelations of the Son of God. 
It is unnecessary to remind the modern reader how large a part 
the Greek philosophy of Stoicism with its Roman modifications 
had played in shaping the thoughts of one Roman citizen, Paul 
of Tarsus. Philo, the Alexandrian Platonist, had developed 
a doctrine of the Divine Logos, which profoundly influenced 
the philosophy of the fourth Evangelist, and through him the 
whole course of Christian teaching. 

The Romans may have added little to abstract philosophy 
or to metaphysics, but they made the somewhat barren abstrac- 
tions of Zeno the Stoic into something more than a philosophy, 
into a faith which had a power to influence conduct far beyond 
the power of the State system of half-Greek Olympian Gods. 
If the power and the sincerity of a religion may be tested 
rather by its martyrs than by its proselytes, Stoicism had a 
worthy record. Men like Thrasea Paetus, Helvidius Priscus, and 
Barea Soranus were facing the tyrant's frown for the sake of 
their Stoic sense of duty, just as truly as Peter and Polycarp. 

The attitude of the Roman Government towards Christianity 
has been too often explained to need more than a brief re- 
capitulation. At first Christianity was confounded with 
Judaism, which had already begun to make converts at Rome 
without seeking for them. The Roman government was ex- 
traordinarily tolerant towards creed, but it demanded an 
external compliance with the Caesar-worship, which it was 
imposing on the provinces as a test of loyalty. But the 
Christians did not take the divine command "render unto 




t i 







i i 



Csesar the things that are Caesar's " to include scattering incense 
on his altars. Too many of them had been brought up in the 
punctilious exclusiveness of the Jewish tradition for them to 
display on such points the laxity which is sometimes called 
broad-mindedness. Even in the private intercourse of social 
life the Christians were unpleasantly apt to insist upon their 
scruples. The meat in the butchers' shops had often been 
slain in sacrifice, and the Christian conscience revolted at 
" meat offered to idols." The libation with which the wine- 
cup started on its rounds was another offence to the tender 
monotheistic conscience. These things made the Christians 
unpopular. Their close associations, their secret meetings and 
love-feasts, the communism which they practised, all aroused 
the suspicions which are begotten of mystery. Lastly, their 
conviction that the Second Coming and the Day of Judgment 
were at hand made them ardent proselytes. It made them 
utter prognostications of death and damnation to all around 
them, and to see apocalyptic visions of the fall of the kingdoms 
of this earth. Such prophecies were sometimes misunderstood 
as involving treasonable designs. The first persecution under 
Nero was largely the result of such suspicions. 

But the official attitude of the permanent Roman Govern- 
ment is probably revealed in the famous correspondence between 
Pliny and his emperor, Trajan. Imperial Rome is not to set up 
an inquisition. No man is to be punished for his faith, but if he 
is accused to the governor and is obstinate in refusing to pay 
the obeisance demanded by the state he is to be punished for 
his contumacy. That is precisely the attitude which the most 
humane and enlightened Christian states have adopted towards 
heresy. Later, when the Faith grew in importance, and when 
it even reached the point of soldiers refusing the military oaths, 
occasional emperors, often the better emperors, strove to fight 
against it. Then there were sometimes inquisitions and whole- 
sale martyrdoms as under Decius and Diocletian. But no 
martyrdom, however public or agonising, could quench the 
faith of those who saw the heavens opening and the Angels of 



God descending with their crowns of glory. The publicity of 
the scenes and the constancy of the victims increased, as usual, 
the number of the converts. Foolish magistrates sought to 
encounter obstinacy with further severity, and the Faith only 
grew the more abundantly. It was not so much his personal 
conversion for that was tardy and half-hearted as the 
motive of policy to secure an advantage over Maxentius, which 
induced Constantine to promulgate the Edict of Milan in 313, 
by which toleration was extended to the Christian faith through- 
out the Roman Empire. 

We must not be surprised that the best emperors, including 
the philosopher and saint, Marcus Aurelius, were the most 
bitterly hostile to Christianity. That is human nature. Stoic 
philosophers were teaching very much in common with 
Christian philosophy, but that renders it all the less likely that 
Stoic philosophers should be among the converts. Neverthe- 
less Christian doctrine, especially in the Greece-Jewish com- 
munities of Asia Minor, was falling on prepared soil. The Stoic 
paradoxes had undoubtedly prepared the way for the Christian 
paradoxes. The doctrines of humility and asceticism were a 
commonplace of the Cynics. " No Cross, no Crown," " He 
who would save his life must lose it " such sayings as these 
would gain immediate assent from thoughtful Romans. 
Epictetus, a heathen slave of Domitian's day, wrote his answer 
to the tyrant : " No man hath power over me. I have been 
set free by God. I know His Commandments ; henceforth no 
man can lead me captive." The Stoics were daily teaching 
that it is hard for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of 
God. This is the creed of Marcus Aurelius : " To venerate 
the gods and bless them, and to do good to men, and to 
practise tolerance and self-restraint." The horrors of the 
amphitheatre are one side of imperial society. But on the 
other side Musonius Rufus, a Stoic who stood high in the 
favour of Vespasian and Titus, went among the soldiers to 
preach against militarism. Slave-drivers as the Romans were, 
they were beginning to feel a sense of the brotherhood of man. 

3 o " 


Seneca was calling the slaves " humble friends." " Man is a holy 
thing to man," he says ; and such teaching was reflected even 
in the legislation of the day. Juvenal pleads passionately for 
kindness to slaves and for moral purity in the home. Seneca 
not only feels that men are brothers, but that God is the 
Father of us all. We have seen how public charity was 
finding expression in the alimenta and the free schools. " Love 
them that hate you" would not strike the Romans of the 
second century as anything more than a strong expression of 
the truth they had already begun to recognise. Thus the 
practical side of Christian ethics found its harmonies in 
the conduct as well as the theory of the more enlightened 
pagans. Peace and humanitarianism were in the air of the 
Antonine Age. 

As for religious dogma the whole tendency of thought was 
towards monotheism. "God is a Spirit" would find an 
instant acquiescence among educated Romans, even though 
they frequented the temples of a hundred different gods. 
Philosophy among Greeks and Romans alike had always been 
monotheistic. On the subject of immortality the philosophers 
were divided. Marcus Aurelius and Seneca are on the whole 
not hopeful. Probably the beliefs of the common folk as 
testified in the epitaphs of their cemeteries were equally 
divided. The laconic epitaph : " I was not, I was : I am not, 
I care not," is common. But other epitaphs equally common 
express the hope of reunions in the other world or even of 
being " received among the number of the gods." But on the 
whole the commonest view of Death was as a happy release 
and an unending sleep. It was the immediate hope of eternal 
bliss, which was the greatest thing that Christianity had to 
offer to the pagan world. 

Rome, then, was in many ways prepared for the reception 
of Christianity, whose doctrines found an echo in the aspirations 
of the day. She did much to give to Christian theology its 
Western form, and of course the ritual and practice of the 
Roman Church was in many ways merely a continuation of old 



pagan rites and ceremonies. Ancient deities became Christian 
saints without change of rite or cult; images were often adapted 
and even names scarcely altered. But, in fact, the whole con- 
ception of that mighty Church which conquered the world, 
including the barbarian invaders, was the offspring of the 
Roman political system. It was her genius for statecraft which 
made Rome the Eternal City. In one form or another she has 
governed the world for twenty centuries. 




Musae quid facimus ? ri <evaia-iv tv An-to-tv 
udimus dtppaSlr/friv iv T\jiari yrjpaa-KovTes ; 
SavroviKois campouriv, onrj <pvos &arircTov iirrlv, 
erramus gelido-rpo//>oi rigidique poetse. 


SHOULD have preferred to leave the Roman world at 
the height of its grandeur, when the whole vast terri- 
tory was enjoying prosperity, if not peace, under the 
virtuous and benevolent Antonines. In that way this 
book would best create the true impression of Rome, 
not as a lamentable failure, but as the conspicuous 
success which it assuredly was. But as the reader 
will probably follow the old Greek maxim and 
desire to see the end before recording a judgment, 
a few pages are added containing a very brief 
summary of the closing scenes. It is necessary to 
notice that even the closing scenes cover a period 
of two hundred years, and that this progress is not 
even yet entirely downhill. They include good and 
bad reigns, periods of prosperity as well as disaster. 
Here again the impression of pessimism which we get from 
reading the account of the Empire is due to the historians as 
much as to the history. Lampridius and the other writers of 
the Augustan History are small-minded writers who label the 
various princes as good or bad largely according to their 
treatment of the senate. The Augustan historians are trained 
in the school of Suetonius, they dwell upon gossip and can 
form no large political judgments. Very little of the gossip is 
authentic. If they have decided to revile an emperor they 

u 305 


repeat the scandals narrated by Suetonius about Tiberius or 
Nero. It is only in their accounts of military action that they 
can be trusted, and this fact creates a false preponderance of 
warfare in the annals of the period. 

The succession to the imperial throne continued to be the 
weak point of the whole system. The throne itself passed through 
unspeakable degradations. The guards who murdered Pertinax 
formally put the succession up to auction in the praetorian camp. 
Septimius Severus (193-198) gave a brief respite of strong 
government which almost destroyed the fiction of senatorial 
authority, for Severus held the proconsular power even over 
Rome and Italy. Caracalla was probably the worst of all the 
emperors in personal vice and brutality, but he was the author 
of that famous decree which conferred the citizenship on all the 
western provinces. In Elagabalus (218-222) Rome had for 
master the vile and effeminate priest of the Sungod, who 
brought the fetish-stone of Emesa into the city and attempted 
to make all the gods bow down to it. Alexander Severus was 
a blameless prince, and Maximin the Thracian drove the 
barbarians back behind the Unities of the Rhine and Danube. 
After the Gordians the senate enjoyed for a brief space the 
opportunity of governing Rome through their nominee 
Pupienus, but the disorders of the period may be gauged from 
the fact that in the eighteen years following Alexander Severus, 
who died in 235, twelve persons wore the purple. Then 
Gallienus assumed it, having for his colleague that Valerian 
who was the first of Roman emperors to be taken prisoner by 
the enemy. Strange and horrible tales hung about his 
mysterious fate when taken captive by Shapur, the Persian 
king. In the latter years of Gallienus the Empire was practi- 
cally divided, for his rebellious general Postumus was recognised 
as emperor throughout Gaul, Spain, and Britain. In this 
period, too, Palmyra rose into independent power as the meeting- 
place of the caravan routes across the Syrian plains. Under 
the famous Queen Zenobia it practically ruled over the eastern 
parts of the Empire, and its splendid ruins prove its wealth and 


magnificence. Gallienus then almost allowed the Empire to 
disintegrate under his feeble grasp, but his successor Claudius 
Gothicus (268) was a man and a soldier. He smote the Goths 
and would have restored the Empire in full, but the plague, 
which had never wholly disappeared since the time of Marcus 
Aurelius, carried him off in the third year of his reign. The task 
was left for Aurelian, that Pannonian peasant whose brilliant 
generalship hurled back the enemy on every side, while his 
statesmanship restored the authority of the emperor and even 
the financial credit of the Empire. The mighty wall with 
which he surrounded Rome is, however, a sad testimony of the 
dark days upon which the imperial city had fallen. The 
Palmyrene kingdom was defeated and the rich city plundered. 
The rebel Empire of the Gauls was destroyed for ever. The 
grandest triumph ever witnessed in Rome was that of Aurelian 
in 274. It is thus described by Vopiscus : 

"There were three royal chariots. One was that of 
Odenathus, brilliant with jewellery in gold, silver, and gems; 
the second, similarly constructed, was the gift of the Persian 
king to Aurelian ; the third was the design of Zenobia herself, 
who hoped to visit Rome in it. Wherein she was not deceived, 
for she entered the city in it after her defeat. There was 
another chariot yoked to four stags, which is said to have 
belonged to the king of the Goths. On this Aurelian rode to 
the Capitol, there to sacrifice the stags which he had vowed to 
Jupiter the Highest and Mightiest. Twenty elephants went 
before, tamed beasts of Libya and two hundred different beasts 
from Palestine, which Aurelian immediately presented to 
private individuals in order that the treasury might not be 
burdened with their maintenance. Four tigers, giraffes, elks, 
and other creatures were led in procession. Eight hundred 
pairs of gladiators, as well as captives from the barbarian 
tribes, Blemyes, Axiomitae, Arabs, Eudsemones, Ludians, 
Bactrians, Hiberi, Saracens, Persians, all with their various 
treasures; Goths, Alani, Roxolani, Sarmatians, Franks, Suevi, 
Vandals, Germans advanced as captives with their hands 
bound. Among them also were the Palmyrene chiefs, who 
survived, and the Egyptian rebels. Ten women whom Aurelian 
had taken fighting in male attire among the Goths were in the 



procession, while many of these ' Amazons ' had been slain. 
In front of each contingent a placard bearing the name of the 
tribe was carried. Among them was Tetricus (the ' emperor ' 
of the Gallic Empire) in a scarlet cloak, a yellow tunic, and 
Gallic breeches. There walked Zenobia too, laden with jewels 
and chained with gold chains which others carried. In front 
of the conquered princes their crowns were borne along labelled 
with their names. And next the Roman People followed, the 
banners of the guilds and camps, the mailed soldiers, the royal 
spoils, the whole army and the senate (although it was saddened 
to see that some members of its body were among the captives) 
added much to the splendour of the show. It was not until 
the ninth hour that the Capitol was reached, and the palace 
much later." 

Aurelian endeavoured to establish Mithraism as the state 
religion, and earned the gratitude of the vulgar by supple- 
menting the free supply of corn with a daily ration of pork. 
Oil and salt were given gratuitously, and he even prepared 
to supply free wine. The three emperors who succeeded 
Aurelian, Tacitus, Probus, and Carus, were men of good 
character, and the first two were, once more, the nominees 
of the senate. 

Throughout this troubled age the causes of confusion were 
twofold. On the one hand the Empire itself was so vast and 
scattered that it tended now to fall to pieces of its own 
momentum, as the seedbox opens to scatter its seeds. Britain, 
Gaul, Germany, Palmyra each in its turn began to feel a 
unity of its own. Rome was far away, and the government 
was often weak and negligent. Here was an opportunity for 
the local generals to carve out thrones for themselves. While 
the emperor hurried this way and that fresh rebellions broke 
out in his rear. It was no one's fault in particular. The 
world-state was impossible in theory as in practice. It was 
only possible while the provinces were barbarian. When they 
became civilised and self-conscious they were bound to feel 
their natural unity. 

In the second place, the barbarians were now grown to full 


stature. They were no longer quarrelsome tribes which could 
be turned against one another by adroit statecraft, but nations 
much less barbarous than of old, with some organisation and a 
purpose above that of mere plunder. No artificial ramparts 
could hold them. It is very doubtful whether even the legions 
of Rome at their best could have resisted these repeated 
assaults on all sides. The first great inroad across the Danube 
took place in the reign of M. Aurelius. It was crushed, as the 
column of that emperor depicts, and Sarmatia and Mar- 
comannia were added as short-lived provinces. It is in the 
third century that we begin to hear of the greater barbarian 
nations, or groups of tribes, of the Alemanni and the Suevi, the 
Franks, the Saxons, the Goths, and the Vandals. Battle after 
battle was fought and triumph after triumph won against them, 
but they still pressed on. The weaker emperors essayed to 
buy them with gold, the wiser with land, the craftier set them 
to slay one another, but still they moved forward resistlessly, 
wave after wave, like the sea. This again was nobody's fault. 
It may have been the movement of Tartar savages in the Far 
East which set the Wandering of the Nations in motion. 
Whatever it was, all eastern and northern Europe was seething 
with restless movement and the tide rolled on irresistibly 
against the bulwarks of civilisation. Triumphs as great and 
glorious as those of Scipio and Marius were gained by Roman 
armies even in the fourth century. But the enemy was ubiquitous, 
the task impossible. 

It is, however, true that those bulwarks were weaker than 
they should have been, partly by reason of the internal dis- 
organisation caused by perpetual struggles for the succession, 
and partly through certain visible errors in Roman statesman- 
ship. For one thing, the spirit of peace and humanity which 
was ripening in the securer central parts of the Empire had 
probably impaired its instincts of defence. The modern world 
is trying just now to believe that you can retain the power of 
defence when you have given up all thoughts of aggression. 
It may be so. The Roman world failed in the attempt. 



Rome's statesmen were now no longer soldiers, but lawyers 
and financiers. Even the prefects of the praetorian guard were 
lawyers. The army was a profession apart. Moreover, even 
the army had become so civilised that it had lost many of its 
martial qualities. Hadrian more than any other ruler is 
responsible for allowing the cannabce or "booths" which had 
sprung up around the camps to grow into towns and even 
cities. The legions were now permanently established in their 
quarters, the soldiers married wives and occupied their leisure in 
business or husbandry. Hadrian it was, too, who in his large 
cosmopolitan spirit had introduced many and doubtless useful 
barbarian methods of fighting, so that the old Roman military 
traditions had fallen into desuetude. A legion was now no 
better than its auxiliaries. The auxiliaries were often barbarians 
and soon the legions themselves became completely barbarised. 
It was only a step further when barbarians were recruited in 
tribes to fight Rome's battles under their own commanders. 

Secondly, the whole Roman world was being slowly strangled 
with good intentions. The bureaucracy had grown so highly 
organised and efficient, so nicely ordered through its various 
grades of official life, that everybody walked in leading-strings 
to the music of official proclamations. Paternalism regulated 
everything with its watchful and benignant eye. The triumph 
of the system may be seen in the famous Edict of Prices issued 
by Diocletian in A.D. 301. Here we find scheduled a maximum 
price for every possible commodity of trade and a maximum 
wage for every kind of service. Death is the penalty for any 
trader who asks, or any purchaser who pays a higher price. 
No difference of locality or season is permitted. Trade is for- 
bidden to fluctuate under penalty of death. This delightful 
scheme, which was engraved on stone in every market in 
Europe, was evidently the product of a highly efficient Board 
of Trade, which had sat late of nights over the study of statistics 
and political economy. Benevolent officials of this type 
swarmed all over the empire, spying and reporting on one 
another as well as on the general public. 


The same system of blear-eyed officialism had found a still 
more ingenious method of throttling the society which it was 
endeavouring to nurse back into infancy. It was under 
Severus Alexander (about A.D. 230) that the various collegia 
or guilds were incorporated by charter, so that every industry 
whatever became a close corporation. This rendered the task 
of administration much simpler. It meant that every human 
occupation became hereditary. There was, for example, a guild 
of the coloni or tillers of the soil. The most benevolent of the 
emperors, Marcus Aurelius and the two Severi, had planted 
barbarians on Roman soil under condition of military service in 
lieu of rent. This service became hereditary also. Before long 
each piece of ground had to supply a recruit. The decuriones, 
moreover, or municipal senators, who had once been the 
honoured magistrates of their townships, also became a caste. 
As they were made responsible for the collection of property 
tax in their boroughs, and as wealth began to decline and 
taxation to increase, they were reduced to a condition of penury 
and misery. The exemption from taxation of whole classes of 
society, such as the soldiers and eventually the Christian 
clergy, added to their burdens. Then, since many of them 
attempted to evade the distresses entailed upon their rank by 
joining the army or even selling themselves into slavery, a 
decree was issued which made their office hereditary. It 
became a form of punishment to enrol an offender among these 
curiales. A decree of Constantine bound all the tillers of the 
soil in hereditary bondage for ever. In these ways Roman 
society fell into stagnation. Since the progress of the 
Manchurian Empire in China proceeded on very similar lines, 
it looks as if the benevolent despotism engendered by highly 
centralised government of very large areas was one of the 
methods by which Providence is accustomed to bring great 
empires low. 

At the close of the third century Diocletian endeavoured 
to save the state by a bold revolution. He swept away the 
h ollow pretence of republicanism and frankly surrounded the 


throne with every circumstance of majesty and ceremony. 
The free access which had generally been granted by the most 
despotic princes was replaced by an elaborate system of inter- 
mediaries. To meet the obvious needs of devolution in 
government, as well as to stop the incessant struggles for the 
succession, he invented an ingenious division of responsibility. 
Henceforth there were to be two Augusti, one taking the East 
and one the West. The Empire was not actually divided, for 
the joint writ of the two colleagues was to run all over it. 
Moreover each Augustus was to have a junior colleague, a 
" Caesar," acting as his lieutenant and prepared to step into his 
place. Ties of marriage were to unite all four into one close 
family alliance. There were now one hundred and sixteen 
provinces and Diocletian grouped them into thirteen " dioceses " 
each under a "vicar," directly responsible to one of four 
"praetorian praefects," who shared the administration of the 
whole. The troops were no longer subject to the provincial 
governors, but each army had a " Duke " (dux) of its own. 
Each frontier and these were still further fortified was 
under its own " Duke." At the same time steps were taken 
to organise a central striking force the comitatus of the 
emperors. The four Prefectures and thirteen Dioceses were as 
follows : 

/Egypt I LLYRICUM (Macedonia I Italia 

Oriens ( Dacia ITALIA I Ulyricum (after 

ORIENS -<Pontus /"Gallia 1 Theodosius) 

Asia GALLIARUM -I Hispania [Africa 

\Thracia ^Britannia 

Italy, it will be observed, has now definitely declined into the 
status of a province among many, and Rome itself was not 
sufficiently near the frontier armies to be a convenient capital. 
Diocletian preferred to make his residence at Nicomedia. The 
senate, as a necessary consequence, receded into the background, 
and remained little more than a title of dignity. The emperor's 
Consistory, a privy council composed of the heads of depart- 
ments, took its place for practical purposes. The new hierarchy 











of officials rejoiced in barbaric titles which would have shocked 
the ears of a genuine Roman. 

Naturally these advances in the direction of more and 
stronger government proved no alleviation of the woes which 
sprang from too much supervision. The most visible sign of 
decay was the decline of population which began to lay the 
central parts of the Empire desolate, and this sprang not only 
from economic burdens, but from racial decline. Money 
became so debased and worthless that the world actually went 
back to the system of barter. 

Constantine signalised Diocletian's plan of dividing the 
responsibility of government by founding a new capital at 
Byzantium. His motives were probably mixed. In the first 
place he would be free of the awkward republican traditions 
which still kept reasserting themselves, and in the second place 
Constantinople was a more central and a much more defensible 
situation. But, more than all, in this new Rome he could 
break away from the old religion. Constantine's plan for 
restoring the tired and afflicted world was the adoption of 
Christianity. The Decree of Milan (313) made Christianity 
the official religion, though not the only religion, of the 
Empire. It was already the religion of the court ever since 
Constantine had seen his famous vision of the Angel descending 
from Heaven with the sign of the Cross and uttering the words 
tv Tovrtf VIKO, " Hoc signo vinces." Still half-pagan, the emperor 
had made the Cross his mascot, and in the strength of it had 
defeated his rival at the Milvian Bridge just outside Rome.* 
Constantine himself was by no means a saint ; in murdering 
kinsmen he was, in fact, among the worst of the emperors, but 
unwittingly he saved the world by his conversion. Meanwhile 
the extravagance with which he adorned his new city afflicted 
the whole Empire with the burdens of fresh taxations. 

The scheme of a divided Empire failed. After Theodosius 
(395) the division became permanent. The Eastern throne 
remained secure for another thousand years, protected by the 

* See Plate 95, Fig. 2. 



admirable strategic position of Constantinople. The contempt 
with which it has hitherto been treated by historians is now 
beginning to break down, and it is seen that the Byzantine 
Empire not only stood as the bulwark for the West against the 
East but preserved for us the inestimable treasures of Greek 
intellect. The Roman tradition, now inextricably mingled 
with the Greek, lingered on there unchanged, even to the very 
chariot-races which still threw society into a ferment. To this 
day the inhabitants of Greece and Roumania distinguish them- 
selves from their oriental neighbours by the proud title of 
" Romans." 

But in the West a series of phantoms succeeded one 
another upon the throne. The floodgates of the Rhine and 
Danube frontiers broke down completely and the new nations 
streamed into their heritage. Then it was found how truly 
Constantine's policy had saved the world. Though the Goths 
took and plundered Rome (410), they came in not as pagan 
destroyers, but as Christian immigrants, and it was Gothic 
generals and Gothic armies who saved Europe from destruc- 
tion. About 447 the Mongolian Huns under their terrible 
Attila came riding into western Europe from the steppes of 
Russia. They crossed the Rhine half a million strong, 
destroying and burning as they came. The Roman emperor's 
sister Honoria proposed marriage to Attila, and the proud 
barbarian offered her a place in his harem if she would bring 
half the Western Empire as her dowry. The Roman general 
Aetius with a half-barbarian army in alliance with the Visigoths 
checked them at "The Battle of Chalons" and the peril drifted 
away. Aetius who had saved Rome was stabbed by his 
ungrateful emperor. 

The Vandals had already overrun Spain and streamed 
across to Africa, whence they issued forth to make a second 
sack of Rome. Britain had been deserted rather by the choice 
of its army than by command of any emperor, and left a prey 
to the pagans of the north in 406. Italy itself was wholly in 
the hands of the barbarians, who lived on terms of apparent 



equality with the Romans. Puppets wore the imperial purple 
and did the behests of barbarian "Patricians," Ricimer the 
Suevian, Gundobald his nephew, and finally Odoacer, a tribeless 
barbarian from the north. By this time the Western Empire 
was dismembered for ever, and western Europe was merely a 
series of barbarian principalities. In 476 Odoacer removed 
the last puppet-emperor of Rome, who bore the significant 
name of Romulus Augustulus. The seat of the Western 
Empire had long been removed from the twice-sacked city of 
Rome, and the later princes had ruled from Ravenna, where 
the little mausoleum of the Empress Placidia, sister of Honorius, 
still stands as a type of the shrunken glories of the last 
successors of Augustus.* 

In theory the Western Empire did not come to an end in 
476. The Eastern emperors now claimed authority over the 
whole Roman world and exercised it so far as they could 
obtain obedience. Strong Caesars like Justinian made their 
rule respected far and wide. Geographically and politically, 
the West had now begun its mediaeval existence as a congeries 
of small kingdoms generally of uncertain extent. 

But in a far truer sense Rome continued to rule the world 
as before. Her two great legacies, the Roman Law and the 
Roman Church, ruled it as completely as ever the legions had 
done. Even in politics, the grand conception of the Christian 
Republic, Church and State in one, with the Pope as the 
successor of St. Peter bearing the keys of Heaven and Hell, 
while the emperor as the successor of Augustus wielded its 
sword, continued for another thousand years to dominate 
Europe. It was under the aegis of this great idea that the 
young nations grew up and came into their own. 

Thus the true history of Rome from this point is the history 
of the Church, and this is no place to relate it. But it may 
be contended here that the visible Church was as truly a 
creation of the Roman spirit as was the Empire itself. Rome 
had seized upon the teaching of One who lived in poverty 

* Plate 93. 



and obscurity among slaves and outcasts, who preached against 
worldliness, formality, and ambition, who sent out His disciples 
to beg their way, and out of this, with her wonderful genius 
for government, she had created a powerful monarchy which 
could humble kings, and an organised ecclesiastical state which 
spread like a network over the earth and tamed the fury of the 

In the same way the culture of these latter days is to be 
found in Church History. Augustine, St. John Chrysostom, 
and Tertullian are its representative writers and thinkers more 
truly than Ausonius or Claudian. Except for the Arch of 
Constantine,* which was mainly compiled out of earlier remains, 
its Art is to be found in the sacred mosaics of Constantinople 
or Torcello, or in the Byzantine ivories such as the famous 
Barberini panel, showing Constantine as the establisher of the 
Christian Faith.f Architecture continues to show remarkable 
developments, and in the wonderful palace which Diocletian 
constructed for his retirement at Spalato on the Dalmatian 
coast there are new combinations of the Roman arch with the 
Greek columns which are full of promise for the birth of Gothic 
art.J The earliest Christian churches designed on the plan of 
a Greek cross, with a dome covering the intersection of nave 
and transepts, is derived from Asia Minor and bears traces of 
the oriental influence which is so powerful in Byzantine Art. 

* Plate 71, Fig. 2. 

t Plate 94. 

I Plate 95, Fig. i. 


3 i 

















Legendary date of the foundation of 

Legendary date of the expulsion of 
Tarquin, and establishment of the 

Legendary date of the Etruscan in- 
vasion under Lars Porsena 

Legendary date of the First Secession 
of the Plebeians 


Legendary date of the Twelve Tables 
Conquest of Rome by the Gauls 
Licinian Laws : ( i ) forbid large hold- 
ings of public land; (2) compel 
landlords to employ a certain pro- 
portion of free labour 

Possibly authentic date of first 
treaty between Rome and 
the Latins, drawn up by Sp. 

Defeat of the Etruscans by 

312 Censorship of Appius Claudius in- 
cluding ( i) publication of the laws ; 
(2) construction of Via Claudia 




Conquest of S. Etruria by Rome. 
Caere becomes the first 
civitas sine suffragio 

First treaty of commerce be- 
tween Rome and Carthage 

Samnite Wars, involving sub- 
jugation of the Latins, and 
eventually of all Central Italy 

Great defeat of the Romans at 
the Caudine Pass 

War with Tarentum and Pyr- 
rhus involving conquest of 
South Italy 





268 First coinage of silver 

26 4 First Punic War, involving con- 

to quest of Sicily, Sardinia, and 

2 4* Corsica first transmarine 


264 First gladiatorial games at Rome. 
240 Livius Andronicus. Beginning of 
Roman literature 

222 Defeat of the Cisalpine Gauls 

220 Via Flaminia to Ariminum 

218 Second Punic War 

218 Lex Claudia forbids Senators to 

engage in commerce 
216 Romans severely defeated at 

205 Introduction of Phrygian worship of 

Magna Mater 

202 Victory of Scipio at Zama 

201 Peace with Carthage involving 

cession of Spain 

200 Second Macedonian War 


1 9 6 Flamininus proclaims the liberty 

of Greece 

J 9 Defeat of Antiochus the Great 

of Syria at Magnesia 

186 7000 Romans condemned for the 
Bacchic orgies 

184 Censorship of Cato the Elder. Death 
of Plautus. Basilica of Cato con- 

I 7 I Third Macedonian War. Egypt 

* accepts Roman suzerainty 


165 1000 Greeks, including Polybius the 
historian, brought to Italy as host- 

161 Greek orators and philosophers ex- 
pelled (vainly) 

1 60 Adelphi of Terence performed 

Z 48 Macedonia becomes a province 

X 46 On destruction of Carthage, 

Africa becomes a province 
Great influx of Greek Art Corinth destroyed 





133 Tribunate and agrarian programme of Kingdom of Attalus bequeathed 
Tiberius Gracchus to Rome, becomes province 

of Asia 

123 Tribunate and agrarian programme of 
Gaius Gracchus. Establishment of 
the Equites as a political power 

121 Province of Gallia Narbonensis, 

f formed by conquest of S. Gaul 

112 War with Jugurtha : triumph of 
to Marius 


113 Army reforms and political power of War with Cimbri and Teutons 
to Marius 


91 War against the Italian allies 

(Social War) 
88 Conquest of Rome by Sulla, and War with Mithradates of Pontus. 

restoration of the Senate Massacre of Romans 

87 Revolution of Cinna and Marius 

with great massacre of nobles 
82 Return of Sulla and proscription of Defeat of the Samnites at the 

the democrats Colline Gate of Rome 

8 1 Sulla dictator. Cornelian Laws im- Cisalpine Gaul becomes a pro- 
prove the judicial system. Cicero's vince. Rome refuses^Egypt 

first speech 
78 Date of extant buildings at Rome (i) 

the Tabularium; (2) the Temple 

of Fortuna Virilis 

75 Bithynia and Cyrene made pro- 

vinces (both bequeathed to 

7 3 Insurrection of slaves under Spartacus 

67 Pompeius defeats the pirates 

63 Consulship of Cicero, who crushes Pompeius ends the Mithradatic 

the conspiracy of Catiline War. New provinces organ- 

ised : Cilicia, Bithynia with 
Pontus, Syria, and Crete 
60 Union of Pompeius, Csesar, and 

Crassus, " the First Triumvirate " 
59 Consulship of Caesar, and grant of 

the province of Gaul 
58 Banishment of Cicero. Theatre of Csesar defeats the Helvetians 

Curio built 

57 Recall of Cicero Caesar defeats the Nervii 

56 Renewal of the " Triumvirate " at Caesar defeats the Veneti by 

Lucca sea 

55 Dedication of theatre of Pompeius Caesar invades Britain 





S 2 

5 1 











Senate-house burnt in a riot. Pom- 
peius passes laws against Caesar 

Caesar begins the Civil War 

Battle of Pharsalus, defeat of Pom- 

Final defeat of Pompeians at Thapsus 
in Africa. Caesar dictator. Dedi- 
cation of new Forum Julium, and 
temple of Venus Genetrix 

Caesar enlarges the Senate and regu- 
lates the municipal constitutions 
of the Italian towns 

Assassination of Caesar. M. Antonius 
in command of Rome. Cicero's 

Octavian, Caesar's heir, with the con- 
suls defeats Antony at Mutina, and 
is elected consul. Second Trium- 
virate formed, Antony, Octavian, 
and Lepidus. Proscription of 
the tyrannicide party, including 

Battles of Philippi. Defeat of Brutus 
and Cassius. Temple of Saturn 

War at Perusia, in which Octavian 
crushes the revolt of L. An- 

Library of Pollio founded. Octavian 
marries Livia 

Sextus Pompeius defeated. Lepidus 
deprived of his army 

Publication of Horace's Epodes 
Triumph of Caesar Octavianus 
Census and restoration of Senate. 
Dedication of temple and library 

of Palatine Apollo : eighty-two 

temples restored ^ 


Second invasion of Britain 
Defeat of Crassus by the Par- 

thians. Caesar subdues the 

Treveri, and crosses the 

Great revolt of Gaul under Ver- 

cingetorix crushed at Alesia 
Final subjugation of Gaul. 

Cicero governor of Cilicia 

Caesar regulates Egypt, leaving 
Cleopatra as queen 

M. Antonius with Cleopatra in 

Antony defeated in Parthia 

Defeat of Antony and Cleopatra 

at Actium by Octavian 
Conquest of Egypt 

Mcesia made a province 




27 " Restoration of the Republic " really Provinces divided between 
the beginning of the Empire. Czesar and Senate. Caesar 
Octavian receives the title of takes Spain, Gaul, Syria, and 
Augustus. Pantheon of M. Agrippa keeps Egypt 

23 Augustus resigns the consulship. Failure of expedition to Arabia 
Death of Marcellus. Vergil's 
jEneid, Horace's Odes, i, ii, iii 

20 Augustus in Asia. Submission 

of Parthians 

1 9 Death of Vergil Conquest of North Spain 

17 Julian " Laws of Morality." Secular 
games. Horace as laureate. Augus- 
tus adopts Gaius and Lucius his 

1 6 German invasion of Gaul. Defeat 

of Lollius 

1 3 Theatre of Marcellus built Drusus in Gaul for conquest of 


1 2 Dedication of Ara Pacis Augustas 
9 End of Livy's History Death of Drusus after four 

campaigns in Germany 

8 Death of Horace and Maecenas Tiberius in Germany. 

4 Death of Herod. Probable date 

of birth of Christ 
2 Banishment of Julia 


2 Death of Lucius and mortal wounding 

of Gaius. Tiberius adopted 

4 Building of " Maison Carree " at Tiberius's annual campaigns in 

Nismes Germany 

6 Establishment of military chest at Judaea becomes a province (cen- 

Rome. Temple of Castor rebuilt sus of Quirinius). Great re- 
volt in Pannonia 

8 Banishment of Ovid Subjection of Pannonia 

9 Defeat of Varus by Arminius in 


14 Death of Augustus. Succession of Revolt of Rhine and Danube 

Tiberius. Political extinction of armies quelled by Germanicus 
the comitia. Extension of law and Drusus 
of treason and growth of informing 

1 6 Germanicus defeats the Germans 

under Arminius at Idistavisus 
27 Tiberius retires to Capri. Sejanus 
in command of Rome 

X 321 




37 Gains Caesar (Caligula), murdered by 

Praetorian guard 
4 1 Claudius 









Poisoning of Britannicus 

Fire at Rome, and first persecution 
of the Christians 


Futile expedition towards Britain 

New provinces incorporated : 
Mauretania, Lycia, Thracia 
(46), and Judaea. Conquest 
of Britain begun (43) 

Year of the Four Emperors : 
Galba, June-Jan. 69 
Otho, Jan.-April 
Vitellius, April-Dec. 
Vespasian, " The Flavian Dynasty " 

Erection of Colosseum, Arch of 
Titus, and Baths of Titus 

Titus. Eruption of Vesuvius. Hercu- 
laneum buried in mud and Pompeii 
in ashes. Death of Elder Pliny 


Murder of Domitian 

Nerva, repealed law of treason and 

reduced taxes 
Trajan, built Forum Trajani, Basilica 

Ulpia, and Column of Trajan 

Revolt of Boadicea in Britain 

Revolt of Vindex in Gaul and 
Galba in Spain 

118 Hadrian, built Moles Hadriani, 
Temple of Venus and Rome, 
Pantheon, Villa at Tivoli, and 
Temple of Olympian Zeus at 

138 Antoninus Pius, "The Antonine 
Dynasty." Built Temple of 
Antoninus and Faustina 


Revolt of Batavians under 

Siege and destruction of Jeru- 

Progress of Agricola in Scotland. 
Construction of Rhaetian limes 
Wars against the Dacians 

(101-102) First Dacian War. 
(105-107) Second Dacian 
War. Dacia becomes a pro- 
vince. (114-116) Invasion 
of Parthia, capture of 
Ctesiphon. New provinces : 
Armenia, Mesopotamia, 
Assyria, and Arabia 

Abandoned Armenia, Meso- 
potamia and Assyria. Grand 
tour of the empire. 
Hadrian's wall in Britain. 
Revolt and destruction of 
the Jewish nation 














2 7 6 


Marcus Aurelius. Plague in Italy. 
Statue and column of M. Aurelius 


Pertinax murdered by soldiers. Didius 

Julianus bought the throne 
Septimius Severus proclaimed by the 

Illyrian legions. Great jurist 

Papinian flourishes 

Baths of Caracalla finished 
Elagabalus, Attempt to introduce 

Severus Alexander. The jurist 

Ulpian and the historian Dio 

Cassius flourished 
Maximinus Thrax 
Gordianus I. and II. and III. 
Philippus, the Arabian 
Decius. Persecution of Christians 




War against Parthia. War with 
Marcomanni and Quadi. 
Emperor died at Vienna 

Expedition to Britain. Em- 
peror died at York. Strength- 
ening of walls 

All inhabitants of provinces 
(except Egypt) become 

New Persian Empire of the 
Sassanidx begun 

Defeat of the Goths in Thrace. 
Decius fell in the fighting 

Gallienus. Time of great confusion 
owing to pretenders. "The 
thirty tyrants " 

Claudius Gothicus 

Aurelian (" Restitutor Orbis"). Wall 
round Rome 

Tacitus (choice of the Senate) 

282 Carus, then Numerianus, then Carinus 

Wars against German invaders, 
Franks, Alemanni, and Goths. 
Expedition to Persia. Em- 
peror captured 

Tetricus sets up a rival empire 
in Gaul and Spain. Odena- 
thus sets up an independent 
kingdom at Palmyra in 

Defeats German invaders 

Sacrifices Dacia across the 
Danube to the Goths. Re- 
pulses Alemanni and Marco- 
manni from Italian soil. De- 
feats Zenobia and destroys 
Palmyra. Defeats Tetricus 

Temple of the Sun constructed 
at Heliopolis (Ba'albek) 

Drives back the Barbarians and 
restores the defences 

3 2 3 










Diocletian resided chiefly at Nico- 
media in Asia Minor, leaving the 
west to Maximian, Constantius 
and Galerius appointed Caesars. 
Persecution of Christians 

Six " Augusti " claiming the purple, 
Constantine of Britain among them 

Constantine the Great (sole emperor). 
Christianity recognised by the 

Arian conflict, Council of Nicaea 

Building of Constantinople 

Julian the Apostate endeavours to 
revive Paganism 

379 Theodosius. After Theodosius the 
to division of the Empire becomes 
395 permanent 

395 Arcadius rules the East : Honorius 
rules the West 


400 Alaric invades Italy 

402 Imperial residence transferred from 

Rome to Ravenna 

410 Capture and sack of Rome by Alaric 
415 Visigoths found a kingdom at 


429 Vandals found a kingdom in Africa 
449 Anglo-Saxons begin to settle in 


451 Attila and the Huns defeated by 

Aetius and the Goths near Chalons 

452 Foundation of Venice 

476 Odoacer, barbarian general, deposes 
the last Western emperor, Romulus 

5 2 7 


Persians defeated, Egyptian and 
British revolts crushed 

Beginning of the great German 

Visigoths received in Moesia 

if Christians. Massacre of 

Thessalonica (St. Ambrose of 



Justinian, emperor. Victories 
of Belisarius. Codification of 



[The following list of books will serve two purposes, as a guide to the 
reader who wishes to inquire further on any special point, and as an 
acknowledgment of some of the obligations of the writer. Only works 
available in English are here included, and the list is selected rather than 

General Histories of Rome 

PELHAM. Outlines of Roman History. Rivingtons. 
WARDE FOWLER. Rome. (Home University Library.) 
Williams and Norgate. 

General Histories of the Republic 

MOMMSEN. A History of Rome. 5 vols. Bentley. 
HEITLAND. The Roman Republic. 3 vols. Cambridge 

University Press. 

MYRES. A History of Rome. Rivingtons. 
How and LEIGH. A History of Rome to the Death of 

Caesar. Longmans. 

General Histories of the Empire 

GIBBON. Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Ed. 

Bury. Methuen. 7 vols. 
BURY. The Student's Roman Empire (to the Death of 

Marcus Aurelius). Murray. 
STUART JONES. Roman Empire. Story of the Nations. 

Fisher Unwin. 

Special Periods and Biographies 

STRACHAN-DAVIDSON. Cicero. Heroes of the Nations. 



WARDE FOWLER. Caesar. Heroes of the Nations. 


BOISSIER. Cicero and his Friends. Innes. 
OMAN. Seven Roman Statesmen. Arnold. 
MOMMSEN. The Provinces of the Roman Empire. 

2 vols. Macmillan. 
DILL. Roman Society from Nero to Marcus Aurelius 

Roman Society in the last Century of the 

Western Empire. Macmillan. 
RICE HOLMES. Caesar's Conquest of Gaul. Macmillan, 

and Clarendon Press. 
PAIS. Ancient Legends of Roman History. Sonnen- 

FERRERO. Greatness and Decline of Rome. 5 vols. 


TARVER. Tiberius the Tyrant. Constable. 
HAVERFIELD. The Romanisation of Roman Britain. 

Clarendon Press. 


GREENIDGE. Roman Public Life. Macmillan. 
ARNOLD. Roman Provincial Administration. Macmillan. 

Morals and Religion 

FRIEDLANDER. Roman Life and Manners. Routledge. 
WARDE FOWLER. The Religious Experiences of the 

Roman People. Macmillan. 
The Roman Festivals. Macmillan. 
GLOVER. Conflict of Religions under the Roman Empire. 

RAMSAY. The Church in the Roman Empire before 

A.D. 170. Putnams. 

LECKY. History of European Morals. Longmans. 



CUNNINGHAM. Western Civilisation in its Economic 
Aspects. Vol. I. Cambridge University Press. 


SELLAR. Roman Poets of the Augustan Age. Claren- 
don Press. 

CRUTTWELL. History of Roman Literature. Griffin. 
MACKAIL. Latin Literature. Murray. 
RUSHFORTH. Latin Historical Inscriptions. Clarendon 

Art and Archeology 

MRS. STRONG. Roman Sculpture. Duckworth. 
WALTERS. The Art of the Romans. Methuen. 
WICKHOFF. Roman Art. Macmillan. 
MAU. Pompeii, its Life and Art. Macmillan. 
HILL. Handbook of Greek and Roman Coins. Mac- 


BURN. Rome and the Campagna. 

MIDDLETON. Remains of Ancient Rome. 2 vols. 1872. 
MURRAY'S Handbooks. 

LANCIANI. Ancient Rome in the Light of Recent 
Discoveries. Macmillan. 


BUCKLAND. Roman Law of Slavery. 1908. Cambridge 

University Press. 

ROBY. Roman Private Law. 1902. Cambridge Uni- 
versity Press. 




Accomplishments, early Roman, 34 

"Accountants," 276 

Achaean League, 55, 202 

Achaia, 193, 202 

Actium, Battle of, 129, 166, 184, 188, 
202, 240 

Actors, 137 

Acts of the Apostles, 200 

Aden, 204 

Adherbal, 91 

Adiabene, 267 

Adige, 220 

Admirals, 187 

Adriatic fleet, 186, 187 

Adultery, law against, 226 

Advertisements, 285 

JEdiles, 30, 32, 134 

^Edui, 262 

.<isopus (actor), 132 

Aetius, 314 

^Etolian cavalry, 55 

Afranius, 123 

Africa, province of, 59, 193, 208, 283 ; 
diocese, 312 

Agathocles, 45, 61 

Agedincum, 212 

Agri Decumates, 264 

Agricola, Julius, 260, 261 

Agriculture, early Roman, 36, 70 

Agrippa, General under Augustus, 165; 
intended successor to Augustus, 
174, 175 ; disciplinarian, 183 ; over- 
lord in Asia, 195 ; Herod and, 205 ; 
and the worship of Jehovah, 207 ; 
and the conquest of Spain, 221 ; 
married to Julia, 227, 228; temple 
erected by, 251 

Agrippa, Marcus Vipsanius, 129 

Agrippa Postumus, 229 

Agrippina, 224 

Agrippina, (mother of Nero), 256, 272 

Alani, 307 

Alba Longa, 25 

Albinus, Spurius, 92 

Alcamenes, 156 

Alcantara, Bridge of, 294 

Alemanni, 309 

Alesia, 116. 

Alexander the Great, i, 6 

Alexandria, Caesar at, 122 ; and con- 
vention in literature, 151; rivalry 
with Rome, 202, 282 ; Jews in, 268 

" Alimenta," 276 

Aliso, 216 

"Allies and friends," 28, 60 

Alme, 216 

Alpes Cottiae, 194 

Alpes Maritimse, 194 

Alpine tribes, 220 

Alps, the, Hannibal's march, 50 ; 
roads over, 220 

Amazons, 258, 307 

Amphitheatre, the Grand, 282 

Amphitheatre displays, 74; butchery, 

Amphitheatres, 243, 279; in Britain, 


Ampsaga, river, 208 
Amusements, 136, 279 
"Analecta," 137 
Anchises, 224 
Ancus Martius, 19 
Ancyra, 199 

Ancyran monument, 188 
Andernach, 264 



Andronikos, 74 

Anglesey, 259, 260 

Anna Perenna, 36, 39 

Antinous, 293 

Antioch, 247, 267, 268, 282 

Antiochus of Syria, 54, 55 

Antium, 134 

Antonine Constitution, 299 

Antonine Wall, 261 

Antonines, the, 277 

Antoninus Pius, 262, 271, 277; 
column of, 292 

Antonius (orator), 104 

Antonius, L., 164 

Antony, Mark, and Caesar, 124; and 
the succession, 126, 127; and 
Octavian (Augustus), 127, 128, 163, 
164; the Triumvirate, 128; vic- 
tories, 128; and Cleopatra, 128, 
129, 164, 203; and Actium, 130; 
marriages, 138; and Cicero, 148 

Antony and Cleopatra, coins of, 155 

Aosta, 220 

Apelles, 296 

Apennines, slave refugees, 106 

Apicius, 279 

Apollo as a Roman god, 79 ; temple 
to, 1 68 

Apollodorus, 266 

Apollonia, 201, 202 

Apollonius, 290 

Appian Way, 34 

Appius Claudius, 85 

Appius Claudius (censor), 34, 42, 46 

Appuleian Laws, 95, 99 

Apuleius, 290 

Aquae Mattiacae (Wiesbaden), 264 

Aquae Sextias, 94 

Aqueducts, 179, 280, 283, 293 

Aquilegia, 220 

Aquitania, 210 

Arabia, 194, 204, 267 

Arabs, 307 

Aratus, 234 

Arausio (Orange), 94 

Arcesilaus, 156, 249 

Arch, the, 153, 294 

Arch, triumphal, 196 

Archelaus, 206 


Architecture of the Republic, 151- 
154; of the Augustan period, 250 
252 ; of the Empire, 293-297 ; 
later Roman and early Christian, 

Arena. See Amphitheatre 

Aretine pottery, 159 

Areus, 209 

Arezzo, 120 

Argos, 202 

Aristocracy, government by, 71, 72; 
debased, 81; wealth, 132; Augus- 
tus and, 224; under the Empire, 
254; Domitian and the, 274. See 
also Patricians 

Aristotle, 290 

Armenia, 194, 198, 199, 200, 267, 

Arminius, 218, 219, 263 

Armour of soldiers, 29, 98 

Army-^professional, as constituted by 
Marius, 96-99 ; and government, 
99; under Augustus, 182; soldier- 
ing becomes a profession, 184 ; how 
constituted, 184; rate of pay, 185; 
distribution of the legions, 185 ; pay 
(finance), 188; bounties to veterans, 

Arpinum, 134 

Art, Etruscan, 20 ; early Roman, 22, 
34, 66; of the Republic, 151-159; 
of the Augustan period, 243-252 ; 
of the Empire, Greek influence, 
291; sculpture, 292; history of, 
293 ; influence of Antinous, 293 ; 
architecture, 294-297 ; painting, 
296; minor arts, 297; Byzantine, 

"Art, Roman," 151, 245 

Art collectors under the Republic, 


Artillery, 280 

Artists, 248 

Arts, the, and politics, 231 

Arusine Plain, 46 

" Aryan," 2 

As, the copper (coin), 17, 34, 154 

Aschaffenburg, 264 

Ashtaroth, 39 


Asia Minor, coins of, 249 ; Jews in, 
268 ; Christianity in, 302 

Asia, province of, 59 ; wealth, 61, 64; 
taxes, 88 ; control by Augustus, 178; 
senatorial province, 193; security 
in, 200; diocese, 312 

" Asiarchs," 201 

Assassins, 268 

Assessments for taxes, 276 

Assyria, 267 

Asturians, 220 

Asturica Augusta (Astorga), 221 

Athens and Rome, contrast between, 
2 ; allied with Rome, 55 ; Sulla and, 
101 ; and education, 133; an allied 
state, 194 ; position of, under Rome, 
201 ; new quarter, 284 

Athletics, 286 

Atrium, the, 135 

Attalids, the. of Pergamum, 246 

Attalus, 55 

Attalus III., 59 

Attica, 201 

Atticus, 131, 233 

Attila, 314 

Attius, 138 

Augsburg, 220 

Augurs, 133 

Augusta Emerita (Merida), 221 

Augusta (legion), 183 

"Augustals," 181 

" Augustan " age, the. See Augustus 

Augustan history, 305 

Augusti, 312 

Augustine, 316 

Augustulus, Romulus, 315 

Augustus (Gneius Octavius, Octa- 
vianus) adds Egypt to the Empire, 
60; Caesar's heir, 124, 127; takes 
up his inheritance, 127; triple 
alliance, 128; pursues the tyranni- 
cides, 128; master of the West, 129; 
becomes the Emperor Augustus, 
100, 130; health, 136; and litera- 
ture, 151; and monarchy, 161 ; 
statesmanship, 161, 182; Suetonius 
on, 162; character, 163; and 
Cleopatra, 164; policy, 164, 165; 
triumph, 165 ; and peace, 166 ; and 

the patricians, 167 ; takes a census, 
167 ; strengthens the senate, 167 ; 
improves Rome, 167; establishes 
the Empire, 168 ; senate names 
him Augustus, 169; "restores the 
Republic," 168, 169; constitutional 
position, 170; wealth, 172; as 
censor, 172; consulships, 173; 
tribunician power, 173 ; successors, 
174; age and reign, 175; and the 
senate, 175; pretended abdication, 
177; powers, 177; patron of the 
people, 1 80 ; and the laws, 180; 
military position, 182; creates a 
navy, 186; and public finance, 188; 
his generosity, 188; his provinces, 
194 ; account of condition of Italy, 
196 ; and the Parthians, 197 ; cult 
of himself, 201, 225; and Egypt, 
203; and the Soudan, 204; and 
Herod, 206 ; and the Jews, 207 ; 
in Sicily> 209 ; and Gaul, 209; and 
Germany, 212; and Spain, 220; 
results of his rule, 221; his work, 
223; aristocracy and, 224; plots 
against, 224 ; flattery, 224 ; and the 
regeneration of Roman society, 225; 
as a father, 226; marriages, 226; 
and the succession, 228; family, 
229; his habits, 229; character, 
230; education, 231 ; and literature, 
232; in Vergil, 234; in Horace, 
239; and art, 243; and rebuilding of 
Rome, 244, 248 ; culture, 252 ; and 
the enlargement of the Empire, 259 

Aurelian, 307 

Aurelius, Marcus, Antonine dynasty, 
277 ; philosophy fashionable under, 
279; Galen, his state physician, 
290 ; portrait, 292, 294 ; hostile to 
Christianity, 302 ; and immortality, 
303 ; Rome under, 305 ; and the 
barbarians, 309, 311 

Ausonius, 316 

Austria, 217, 220 

Autonomy, local, 284 

Aventine Hill, 280 

Avernus, Lake of, 186 

Axiomitse, 307 



BA'ALBEK, 282, 295 

Bacchic mysteries, 79 

Bacchus, 240 

Bactrians, 307 

Bsetica, 221 

Baiae, 134, 251, 257, 296; Turner's 
picture of, 283 

Bakery account from Pompeii, 285 

Balearic slingers, 98 

Balkans, 220 

Bank rate, 166 

Bankrupts and the senate, 103 

Banks, 64 

Banquets, 133, 136, 196 

Barberini panel, 316 

Barcas, the, 49 

Barea Soranus, 273, 300 

Barristers, 298 

Batansea, 194 

Batavian cavalry, 184 

Baths, 136, 196, 243, 261, 283 

Baths of Titus, the, 293 

Battle-array, 29 

Beasts for the arena, 133 

Bedriacum, 273 

Beja, 221 

Belgica, 210 

Bestia, 91, 92 

Bibulus, iii 

Bithynia, 60, 193, 200 

" Bithyniarchs," 201 

Black Sea, 186, 220, 297 

Blemyes, 307 

Boadicea, 219, 260 

Boeotia, 201 

Bohemia, 217 

Books, 131 ; Cicero's books, 134 

Bosco Reale, 249 

Bosphorus, 194 

Brenner Pass, 263 

Brennus, 199 

Brescia, 196 

Bribery and corruption, 79, 133 

Brickwork, 294 

Bridge, marble, 196 

Brigantes, the, 261, 262 

Britain, Caesar's expeditions to, 117; 
Caesar on, 150; Augustus and, 170, 
209, 210; conquest of, 259; 


empire-building in, 260; and 
Roman civilisation, 261 ; roads, 
262 ; walls, 261, 262 ; and the 
" Latin right," 299 ; and separate 
unity, 308; diocese, 312 ; deserted, 

Britannicus, 272 

Britons, the, 114 

Bronze-work, 297 

Brotherhood of man, 302 

Brundisium, 145 

Bruttium, 45, 47 

Brutus and liberty, 33 ; as hero, 112; 
against Caesar, 124; and the assas- 
sination of Cassar, 126; and the 
succession, 127; fall of, 128; bust 
of, 157; as martyr, 173; and 
Horace, 237 

Budgets under Augustus, 192 

Buffer states, 198, 199, 214 

Building, early, 19; materials (houses), 
135. J 53; principles of, 153; 
brickwork, 294 ; villas, 295 

Bureaucracy, 171, 181, 270, 272, 276, 
278, 310 

Burgundians, 212, 213 

Byzantine (Constantinople), 313 

Byzantine art, 316 

Byzantine Empire, the, 313 

CADIZ, 49 

Caecilius, 76 

" Caesar " (Emperor), 112 

" Caesar and the Roman People," cult 
of, 207 

Caesar Augusta (Saragossa), 221 

Caesar, Gaius Julius, adds Gaul to the 
Empire, 60 ; and the monarchy, 
100 ; birth and lineage, 109; as 
Pontifex Maximus, 109; and the 
conspiracy of Catiline, no; praetor 
to Spain, no; the] Triumvirate, 
no; becomes Consul, no; con- 
quests of Gaul, in, 116 ; honours 
paid to, by poets and others, 112; 
account of the Gallic Wars, 112; as 
historian, 113, 150; his greatness, 
113; his work, 114; as a soldier, 
116; and Britain, 117, 150; and 

Pompeius, 114, 119 ; civil war, 120 ; 
devotion of his men, 121 ; conquers 
at Pharsalus, 121, 122; in Egypt, 
122; and Cleopatra, 122; con- 
quests, 122, 123 ; supporters, 124; 
reforms, 125; kingship, 125; slain, 
126; his will, 127 ; wealth of, 132 ; 
epileptic, 135; wives, 138; and 
Roman history, 145 ; as orator, 
149; his Commentaries, 149; por- 
traits, 157; and monarchy, 1 6 1 ; 
temple to, 166; The Commentaries 
and Germany, 214; deified, 225; 
as poet, 232. 

Caesar, L., 104 

Caesar-worship, 231, 267, 300 

Caesarea, 206, 268 

Caesarion, 122 

Caesars, the, 254 

Calabria, 45 

Caledonians, the, 261, 262 

Caligula (Gaius Caesar), 253, 268, 269, 
271, 272 

Callimachus, 239 

Callipolis, 286 

Calpurnia, 126 

Cameos, 249 

Campagna, the Roman, 12, 25; 
shepherds, 37 

Campania, 28, 34, 283 

Campanian Road, 134 

Campus Martius, 36, 153 

Camulodunum (Colchester), 259, 260 

Candace, 205 

Candlestick, the seven - branched 
golden, 269 

Cannabce, 310 

Cannae, 51 

Canon law, 299 

Cantabrians, 220 

Capital punishment, 43 

Capitol, the, 25, 153, 293, 307 

Capitoline Hill, 282 

Cappadocia, 194, 267 

Capri, 229 

Capua, 51 

Caracalla, 292, 299, 306 

Caradoc, 260 

Carbo, 94 

Carducci and Catullus, 144 

Garrhas, 119, 197 

Carthage, the early Romans and, 1 3, 
17 ; Roman treaty with, 348 B.C., 
26 ; Pyrrhus and the Carthaginians, 
46 ; Carthaginian Wars, 47 ; First 
Punic War, 48 ; Second Punic War, 
49 ; and Hannibal, 50 ; defeated, 
53 ; Third Punic War, 57 ; siege and 
destruction, 58 ; a province, 59 ; 
colony at, 88 ; refounded as colony 
by Augustus, 208; Carthaginian 
invaders of Sicily, 209 

Cams, 308 

Carving (food), 137 

Caspian Sea, 213 

Cassius, 112, 126-128, 271 

Castle of St. Angelo, 294 ' 

Catiline, conspiracy of, no; Cicero 
on, 147 

Cato (the Censor), prayer on cutting 
a grove quoted, 40; and Carthage, 
57; and slaves, 71; and luxury, 
72 ; and prudishness, 80 ; policy of, 

Cato the younger (of Utica), character, 

1 1 1 ; and the end of the Republic, 

108, 118; death, 123; wives, 138; 

and Stoicism, 139; and the senate, 

147 ; austerity, 148 
Catullus, 104, 142, 232, 243 
Caudine Pass, the, 28 
Celibacy, tax on, 190, 226 
Celtic religion, 221 
Celts, the, 115 
Censors, 32, 72, 272 
Censorship of letters, 232 
Census-taking, 32, 167 
Ceres, 38, 39 
Chalons, Battle of, 314 
Chariot-racing, 279, 280, 314 
Charlemagne, 112 
Chastity, 33 
Chatti, 263 
Chauci, 216, 263 
Cheruscia, 216, 217, 218, 219 
Chester, 260 
Christianity and Caesar worship, 201, 

300 ; conflict with Mithraism, 299 ; 



Rome and the establishment of, 500 ; 
Stoicism and, 300, 302 ; con- 
founded with Judaism, 300; scruples 
of Christians, 301 ; proselytes, 301 ; 
inquisitions and martyrdoms, 301; 
Edict of Milan, 302 ; hostility of 
emperors, 302; monotheism, 303; 
rites and saints taken from paganism, 
303; the Church and the Roman 
political system, 304 ; Constantine 
and, 313; Rome and the Church, 


Chronological summary of Roman 
history, 317-324 

Chrysostom, St. John, 316 

Church and state, 315 

Churches, Christian, 316 

Cicero, Latinity of, 9 ; the translation 
of, 10 ; and pleading in law, 43; 
and Pompeius, 108; oration on 
Manilius, 109 ; and the conspiracy 
of Catiline, no; policy, no; exile, 
1 1 8, 127; slain, 128; his gains as 
governor of Cilicia, 131; his wealth, 
I 3 I . 134; his houses, 134; and 
library, 134; health, 135; divorces 
his wife, 138 ; and Plato, 139; his 
influence on Latin literature, 1 44 ; 
his policy and rhetoric, 145; his 
character, 145 creator of Latin 
prose, 146, 231; his style, 146; as 
a lawyer, 146; oratory, 147; politi- 
cal life, 148 ; his end, 148 ; bust of, 
157 ; and immortality, 231; not a 
client, 232 

Cicero, Quintus, 124, 146 

Cilicia, a province, 59, 193; 200; 
pirate-state at, 106 ; Cicero's gains 
as governor, 131 

Cimbri, the invasion by the, 93 ; 
defeated by Marius, 94 

Cincinnatus, 33 

Cineas, 46 

Cinna (consul), 104 

Circus Maximus, 280 

Circuses, 243 

Cirta, 91 

Citizenship, Roman, 27, 30, 299 

"City Legion," 184 


City prefect, 182 

City-states, the, 6, 27, 69, 278 

Civic ardour, 284 

Civil law of Rome, 298 

Civil service, the, 276 

Civil War, First, 120-123 

Civil War, Second, 128, 129 

Civil wars, restorations after the, 196 

Civilisation, early Roman, 34 ; under 

the Republic, 130; under Augustus, 


Classical education, 291 
Classical literature, the golden age of, 


Classicism, 9 
Claudian, 316 
Claudian house, the, 227 
Claudian law, 132 
Claudian Way, 220 
Claudii, the, 24, 42, 72 
Claudius, Suetonius on, 162 ; forbids 

Druidism, 211 ; his character, 254 ; 

best of the Claudian Caesars, 255 ; 

and Messalina, 255, 256 ; and 

Germany, 263 ; and Thrace, 265 ; 

as Caesar, 271, 272; death, 272; 

building under, 293 
Claudius Gothicus, 307 
Cleopatra and Caesar, 122 ; and 

Antony, 126, 128, 129, 138, 203; 

and Augustus, 164; and Herod the 

Great, 205 

Cleopatra's daughter, 208 
Clergy, Christian, 311 
Clerks, copying, 131 
Client system, 72 ; in literature, 232 
Clodia, 138 

Clodius, 1 08, in, ii 8, 119 
Clcelia, 33 

Cohorts, 98; urban, 186; of watch- 
men, 186 

Coinage, early, 17; copper, 34 
Coins under the Republic, 154 ; 

portraits on, 158; legionary, 183; 

with Parthian suppliant, 198; for 

Judeea, 207 ; of Asia Minor, 249 
Colchester, 259, 260 
Collecting art objects, 225, 248 
"Collegia," 284 


Collegial system, 31 

Colline Gate, the, 105 

Coloni (tillers of the soil), 311 

Colonia Agrippinensis (Cologne), 215, 
219, 263 

Colonnades, 196, 243, 250 

Colosseum, the, 282, 293 

Columella, 290 

Columns in architecture, 154 

Comedy, 75~77 

Comitatus, the, 312 

Comitia, 25, 30, 36, 86, 174, 179 

Commagene, 194, 199 

Commander oflegions, 134 

Commerce, 131 

Commodus, 264, 277 

Como, 283, 296 

Companies, commercial, 131 

Consilium, 176 

Constantine, Arch of, 280, 316; 
Basilica of, 282 

Constantine, Emperor, Caesar and, 
112 ; and a new senate, 179; and 
Christianity, 302, 313; and tillers 
of the soil, 311; founds Constanti- 
nople, 313 

Constantinople founded, 313; mosaics 
of, 316 

Constitution of ancient Rome, 30 

Consuls, 25, 30, 31, 63, 125, 134, 
181, 193 

Copper coinage, 34, 154 

Coptos, 204 

Corduba, 220 

Cordus, Cremutius, 271 

Corinth destroyed, 57, 58 ; restored 
by Julius Caesar, 302 ; and Greek 
art, 247 

Corinthian column, the, 250 

Corn, duty on, 273 

Corn-supply, 69, 109, 181, 188, 190, 
209, 308 

Corn trust, Sicilian, 109 

Cornelia, mother of the Gracchi, 84 
Cornelia, daughter of Scribonia,24o 
Cornelii, the, 72 
Corocota (Gaius Julius Caracuttus), 


"Correctors," 276 

Corsica, 48, 59, 193 

Coryphaeus, 280 

Courage an early Roman virtue, 33 

Crassus, Marcus, subdues the rising of 
the slaves, 106 ; defeated at Carrhae, 
107, 119; his wealth, 107, 132; 
and Caesar, no, 114, 118; the con- 
spiracy of Catiline, no 

Crassus (orator), 84, 104 

Cremera, Battle of, 24 

Cremona, 53 

Cretan archers, 98 

Crete, 38, 60, 193, 208 

Cross, the, Constantine and, 313 

Cruttwell, C. T., on Ovid, 240 

Ctesiphon, 267 

Culture and religion, 35 

Cumae, 134 

Cura annonce, 190 

"Curators," 276 

Curiales, 311 

Curies, 30. 

Curtius, Quintus, 33 

Curule chair, the, 22 

Customs duties, 272 

Cybele, the worship of, 79 

Cyclades, the, 201 

Cymbeline, 259 

Cynics, the, 302 

Cynocephalae, 55 

Cyprus, 178, 193, 200 

Cyrenaica, 193, 208 

Cyrene, 60, 208, 268 

Cytheris, 126, 138 

DACIA, 265, 266, 267, 312 

Dalmatia, 193, 265 

Dalmatian War, 187 

Damascus, 268 

Danish shores, 213 

Dante and Caesar, 112; Dante's debt 

to Roman poets, 289 
Danube, the, 197, 218, 219, 220, 263, 

264, 265, 306, 309, 314 
Danube frontier, 220 
Dead, burial of the, 34 
Death, 303 
Death-duties, 189 
Death-masks, 248 



Debtors, punishment of, 43 

Decebalus, 265 

Decemviri, 42 

Decius, 301 

Decuriones, 195, 311 

"Delation," 204, 272, 275, 277 

Delphi, 101, aoi 

Delphic Amphictyony, the, 202 

Demetrius, 5 1 

Democracy, the Gracchi and, 86, 90 ; 

Julius Caesar and, 109 
Democritus, 139 
Denarius, silver, 207 
Despotism, benevolent, 311 
Development fund, 276 
Diana, 38, 39, 238 
Diana of Ephesus, Temple of, 201 
Dictator, 125 

Dill, Dr. Samuel, on Pliny, 279, 284 
Dining, 133 
Dinner-parties, 136 
Dio Cassius, 168, 182 
Dio Chrysostom, 290 
" Dioceses," 312 
Diocletian, 271, 301, 310, 311 
Diocletian, palace of, 316 
Diplomacy, Roman, 26 
Discipline, Roman, 26, 183; of army, 


Divination, Etruscan, 21 

Divodurum, 212 

Divorce, 80, 136, 226 

Docks, 1 86 

Domitian, unpopular, 177; and 
Britain, 261; and imperial expan- 
sion, 264; and Decebalus, 265; a 
tyrant, 274; and the senate, 274; 
assassination, 275; and Titus, 293 

Doric architecture, 153 ; column, 250 

Drama, beginnings, 73; Greek trage- 
dies translated for Roman stage, 
75 ; comedies, 75; under the Re- 
public, 137 

Drinking, 136 

Druidism, 114, 211, 259 

Drusus, 184, 215, 227, 239 

Drusus, M. Livius, 102 

Dukes (dux), 312 

Durocortorum, 212 


Dutch horsemen, 184 
Dutch shores, 213 
Dutch territory, 216 
Duties, customs, 212, 273 
Duumviri, 195 
Dyarchy, the, 177, 275 

EAGLE, the silver (standard), 98 
Eagles, Roman, captured, 197 
East, the, and Roman art, 249 
Eating, 136 
Eburacum (York), 261 
Edict of Milan, 302 
Edicts, perpetual, 298, 299 
Education, beginnings, 74 ; under the 
Republic, 132 ; in Gaul, 211 ; and 
schools in 200 A.D., 280 ; Pliny 
endows a secondary school, 283; 
and schools under the Empire, 

Egnatius Rufus, 180 
Egypt allied against Philip of Macedon, 
55 ; conquered by Octavian (Augus- 
tus), 60, 130, 1 66; Pompeius and 
Cassar in, 122; private possession 
of Augustus, 170, 172; prefect 
of, 1 80, 194; corn-supply, 190; 
wealth, 202 ; under Augustus, 203; 
religion, 203; taxes, 203; canals 
and irrigation, 203; reservoirs, 204 ; 
position of prefect, 204 ; and Greek 
art, 247 ; rebels in the triumph of 
Aurelian, 307 ; a diocese, 312 
Elagabalus, 306 
Elbe, the, 216, 217, 218 
Election posters, 285 
Electra (sculpture), 249, 250 
Elephantine, Nilometer at, 204 
Elephants, 46 

Eleusinian mysteries, 55, 231 
Emesa, 194, 199; fetish-stone, 306 
Empire-building, 28, 44, 211 
Empire, the early, history, 162; 
establishment of, 168; illegitimate, 
254; during its first century, 259; 
limits of the, 269 ; junior colleagues 
to Caesar, 276; weak through its 
vastness, 308 ; decay, 313 ; divided, 
313; dismembered, 314 


Empire, the Eastern, 313 

Ems, 216, 264 

Ennius, 76, 78, 138, 236 

Ephesus, 201, 247, 282 

Epictetus, 302 

Epicurus, 139 

Epirot phalanx, 46 

Equality, 33, 71 

Equestrian class (Equites), 64, 88, 97, 

Eros (Egyptian tax-gatherer), 191 

Esquiline Camp, 258 

Esquiline Hill, 25 

Ethics, Christian, 302, 303 

Etruria, conquests, 28; Sullan colonists 
in, no 

Etruscans, the, neighbours at be- 
ginning of Rome, 13; piracy, 13, 
17; remains, 14, 20; conquest of 
Rome, 19; their origin, so; art, 
20, 22; character, 21; divination, 
21 ; costumes, 22 ; decline of the 
Etruscan power, 23 ; Etruscan 
princes of Rome, 20, 23 ; enemy of 
Rome, 28; gods, 39; portraiture, 
152, 156; and Roman architecture, 
153 ; and Roman art, 248 

Eudsemones, 307 

Euhemerism, 201 

Euphrates, the, 197, 267 

Europe, Rome and the making of, 5 ; 
Germany and the history of, 213 

Extortion, 133, 191, 209, 212, 273 

Extravagances, 279 

Fabii, the, 24, 72 
Fabius, Pictor, 150 
Fabius, Quintus, 51 
Family, the, 225 
Famine, 190 
Farnese Palace, 251 
"Father of his country," 179 
Fatherhood, 226 
Fatherhood of God, 303 
Fathers, power of, 25 
Fauns, 37 
Faustina, 224 
Feasting, 133, 136 
Felix, 206 

Fencing, 98 

Ferrero, Signor G., on Caesar's charac- 
ter, 112; on Augustus, 199; and 
Gaul, 210 

Festivals, early Roman, 36 

Festus, 207 

Fever, malarial, 135 

Fifth Legion, 215 

Finance, beginnings, 66 ; under 
Augustus, 187 ; gifts, 188 ; pro- 
perty-tax and death-duties, 189 ; of 
the senate, 192 

Financial corruption, 64 

Financiers, 194 

Fire-brigade, 181, 186 

Flamines, 38 

Flaminian Way, 196 

Flaminii, the, 72 

Flamininus, 55 

Flavian age, the, 293 

Flavian dynasty, 274 

Flax, 2 1 2 

Flora, 38, 39 

Footmen, 137 

Fordicidia, 40 

Formise, 134 

Fortifications, frontier, 261, 262, 

Fortuna Virilis, 39; Temple of, 153, 


Fortune-hunters, 226 
Forum, the, 33, 252 
Forum Julii (Frejus), 187 
Forums, 280, 282 
Fowler, W. Warde, 35 
France, roads of, 211 
Frankfort, 264 
Franks, 212, 213, 307, 309 
Fratres Arvales, 39 
Frazer, J. G., 35 
" Free " states, 60 
Freedmen, 181 
Freeman, E. A., 19 
Frejus, 187 
French Revolution, the, and the 

Roman Republic, 71 
Frescoes, 296 
Friezes, 246 
Frisians, 216 



Frontiers, 223; fortified, 261 ; natural, 


Fulvia, 126, 127, 129, 138, 149 
Furniture, 297 

GABII, 25 

Gabinian Law, 109 

Gadara, 205 

Gades, 220, 282 

Gaetulian nomads, 208 

Gaius (Emperor). See Caligula 

Gaius, over-lord in Asia, 195; and the 
Parthian king, 200 ; and the suc- 
cession, 228 ; tutor and servants of, 

Gaius, "Institutes" of, 299 

Galatia, 193, 199 

Galatians, 184 

Galba, 179, 258, 273 

Galen, 290 

Galilee, 194, 206, 268 

Gallia. See Gaul 

Gallienus, 306, 307 

Gallus, Cornelius, 203, 204, 232, 234 

Gamaliel, 207 

Games, public, 137 

Gardening, 296 

Gardthausen, Dr., on Augustus, 162 ; 
on the Roman Army and the British 
Empire, 186 

Gaul. The Gauls and Etruria, 23, 
28 ; Gallic invasion of 390 B.C., 25, 
26; conquest of the Gauls, 49; 
allies of Hannibal, 50; revolt of the 
Gauls, 53, 117; Southern Gaul, 59 ; 
Cisalpine Gaul, 60 ; Gallia Nar- 
bonensis, 59,193,209; Gallia Comata, 
60, 210; conquest by Caesar, in ; 
Caesar and the Gallic wars, 112; 
the Gauls, time of Caesar, 114; 
politics, 116; and Augustus, 169, 
172; province, 193; Gauls in Galatia, 
199; under Augustus, 209-211; 
gods, 2 1 1 tribes, 211; German 
inroads, 215; revolt against Nero, 
257 ; and Britain, 259 ; civilisation, 
262, nationality, 262 ; " Empire of 
the Gauls," 262 ; Gallic communities 
and the "Latin right," 299; Gallic 


empire destroyed, 307 ; unity, 308 ; 
diocese, 312 

Geese, sacred, 59 

Gems, portraits on, 158 

Generosity, public, 284 

Genius (luck), 37, 156 

Geographical knowledge, ancient, 59 

Germanicus as General in Germany, 
184,217, 218,219,263; Augustus 
and the children of, 226; the 
poisoning of, 255 

Germany. Caesar and the Germans, 
117; German slaves bodyguard, 
184; German revolt, 184; pro- 
vince Germania, 193 ; Augustus 
and, 197, 212; and its conquest, 
214-220; social system and tribes, 
214; inroads into Gaul, 215; un- 
conquered, 263 ; Germans in the 
triumph of Aurelian, 307 ; unity, 

Ghosts (Lemures), 37 

Gibbon, Edward, influence of, on view 
of Roman history, 3 ; and the 
Roman imperial system, 277 

Gladiatorial combats, 74 

Gladiators, 71, 131, 133, 137, 185, 
280, 282 

Glaucia, 95 

Gluttony, 136, 279 

Glycon, 156 

Gods, loves of the, in Ovid, 240 

Gods, Roman. See Religion 

Gold mines of Macedon, 54, 58 

Golden House, the, of Nero, 256, 293 

Goldsmith art, 249 

Gordians, the, 306 

Goths, the, 213, 299, 307, 309, 314 

Government, Roman, benevolent, 61 ; 
local autonomy to conquered terri- 
tories, 62 ; want of policy by senate, 

Governors, Roman, 63, 134 

Gracchi, the, 84 

Gracchus, Gaius, takes up reform, 87 ; 
elected a tribune, 88 ; his policy, 
88-89 j murdered, 89 

Gracchus, Tiberius, 84 ; training, 85 ; 
and the land, 85, 86; and de- 


mocracy, 86 ; elected a tribune, 86 ; 
murdered, 87 

Grseco-Roman culture under Augustus, 
231 ; and Roman literature, 288 

Gravitas, 43 

Greece, resemblances between Rome 
and, i ; Greece and expansion, 6 
influence of, on Rome, 72, 74, 81 ; 
influence of, on Roman literature, 
151 ; and Roman architecture, 153, 
250, 251 ; influence of, on por- 
traiture, 157; Roman veneration 
for Greece, 201 ; and Roman edu- 
cation, 201 ; position of, in the 
Roman Empire, 201; Greek reli- 
gion, 207 ; and Roman art, 243-252 

Greek cities, 1 94 

Greek culture, extent of, 200 ; in 
Rome, 231 

Greek drama for the Roman stage, 75, 


Greek mythology and Roman religion, 

35. 39 

Greek philosophy in Rome, 139 
Greek sculpture in Rome, 155 
Grotius, 298 
Grove, prayer on cutting down a, 40 ; 

sacred, 211 
Griiningen, 264 
Guilds (collegia), 284, 311 
Gundobald, 314 

HADRIAN visits Britain, 261; strength- 
ens the Limes Trans-Rhenanus, 264; 
and the Parthians, 267 ; as Em- 
peror, 275, 276; life under, 279; 
freedom of letters under, 163, 289; 
and Greek art, 293 ; and law, 299; 
and the army, 310 

Hadrian, wall of, 261 

Hadrian's villa, 296 

Hamilcar, 49 

Hannibal, genius of, 47 ; and foreign 
conquest, 49 ; becomes leader of 
the Carthaginians, 50 ; his greatness 
and character, 50 ; march over the 
Alps, 50; as a strategist, 51 ; de- 
feats, 52, 53; Antiochus and, 56 

Harbour dues, 61 

Harbours, 187 

Hasdrubal, 50, 52 

Head, Barclay, on Roman coins, 154 

Heating of houses, 280 

Heliopolis. See Ba'albek 

" Helladarch," 202 

Hellenism, 10, 72, 74 

Helvetians, the, 94, in 

Heraclea, 46 

Herculaneum, 297 

Hercules, the Farnese, 156 

Hercules, Temple of, 250 

Hermann. See Arminius 

Hermodorus, 153 

Herod Antipas, 206 

Herod the Great, 184, 198, 205, 206 

Herodes Atticus, 284 

Hesiod, 234 

Hexameter, the Latin, 78, 232 

Hiberi, 307 

Hiero of Syracuse, 23, 51, 61 

Hildesheim, 249 

Hippocrates, 290 

Hirpinus, 280 

Hispania Baetica, 193 

Hispania. See Spain 

Historians, 138, 150, 305 

Historical reliefs (sculpture), 248 

History, the arts and politics in, 231 

History, early Roman, worthlessness 
of, 24 ; Tacitus and Roman history, 
2 S3i 289 ; lack of interest, 288 

Holland, North, 216 

Holy of Holies, 207 

Homer's Odyssey translated, 74 

Honoria, 314 

Horace quoted on the past of Rome, 
7 ; Latinity of, 9 ; on Hannibal, 
52 ; his health, 136 ; on the Portus 
Julius, 187 ; and the Parthians, 197, 
199 ; and Arabia Felix, 204 ; on the 
conquest of Britain, 209 ; educated 
in Greece, 237 ; and Csesarism, 237 ; 
Satires, 237 ; lyrical odes, 237 ; 
drama, 238 ; Odes, 238 ; Century 
Hymn, 238; Secular Games, 238; 
celebrates Augustus, 239 ; pictures 
the life of Rome, 239 ; losses in the 
Civil War, 243 ; and satire, 289 



Horatii, 24 

Horatius and the saving of Rome, 

19. 33 

Hortensius, 138 
Houses, 134, 135, 152, 296 
Humanitarianism, 303 
Huns, the, 214, 314 

ICENI, the, 260 

Ic.tinus, 295 

Idealism in Greek art, 158 

Ides of March, 36, 126 

Idistavisus, 219, 263 

Illyria, 48 

Illyrian War, 166; revolt, 217 

Illyricum, 193, 312 

Imagines, 156, 158 

Immortality, 303 

Imperator, 183 

Imperial administration centralised, 
278; junior colleagues to Caesar, 
276 ; imperial succession, 306 

Imperium, 31 

India, trade with, 204 ; Greek art, 247 

Informers. See " Delation " 

Inquisitions, 301 

Inscriptions from Pompeii, 285 

International law, 298 

Intrigue, 224, 229 

Ionic columns, 154 

Ireland, 261 

" Irene," 169 

Irish, Gallic Celts and the, compared, 


Isis, 39, 139, 203; priests of, 282 

Isthmian games, 55 

Italian " allies " and the franchise, 102 

Italians, citizen rights for, 88-89 

Italian, the modern, and the ancient 
Roman compared, 13 

Italy, divisions of, 12 ; invasions, 15 ; 
Civil War, 106; under Augustus, 
196; colonies in, 196; a province, 
278, 312 ; and the barbarians, 314 

Ivories, Byzantine, 316 

JAMES, WM., on war, 54 
Janus, 38, 154, 1 66 
Jerome and Lucretius, 142 


Jerusalem, Caesar and, 123; under 
Augustus and the Herods, 205, 206, 

207 ; destruction of, 268 
Jesus Christ, 205, 206 
Jewellery, 297 

Jewish law, 207 ; religion, 207 

Jews in the Roman provinces, 200, 

208 under Augustus, 205-207 ; 
under the Empire, 267-269. See 
also Judaea 

John, St., and Philo, 300 

Johnson, Dr., and Latin, 8 

Juba, King, 122, 123, 208 

Judaea, province, 194; under Augustus, 

205-207; government and conquest, 

267, 268 
Judaism, 300 
Jugurtha, 84, 91-93 
Julia (daughter of Augustus), 175, 

227, 228, 229, 230 
Julia (the younger), Ovid and, 241, 


Julian Alps, 220 
Julian laws, 226 
Julianus, Salvius, 299 
Julii, the, 72 
Julius Nicanor, 201 
Juno, 39 

Jupiter, 38, 39, 79, 139, 240, 307 
Jupiter Capitolinus, Temple of, 152, 

iS3, 269, 282 
Jupiter, Temple of, in Mount Zion, 


Jurisprudences, 298 
Jus fetiale, 298; jus gentium, 298; 

jus naturae, 298 
Justice, 270, 272 
Justinian, 299, 315 
Juvenal and emperors, n, 138, 163, 

242, 278; Latin of, 287; and 

satire, 289 ; and ethics, 303 

KENT, 150 
King, the, 41 
Kingship, early, 19 
Knuckle-bones, 229 

LABIENUS, 121, 123 
Labour, free, and slavery, 71 


Lacedsemon, 201 

Lacerna, 280 

Lacinian Promontory, the, 45 

Laconia, Northern, 201 

Lahn, river, 264 

Lampridius, 305 

Land as property, 34; land specula- 
tion, 67, 131 ; neglect of the, 85; 
Tiberius Gracchus and, 87 ; Gaius 
Gracchus and, 88 ; Marius and, 
95 ; Licinian land law, 86 ; land- 
tax in Gaul, 190; land system of 
Gaul, 211 

Langobardi. See Lombards 

Lares, 37 

Latin, use of, 9 ; culture, 9 ; eclipse of 
Latin studies, 9 

Latin festival, 38 

Latin League, the, 25, 26, 27 

Latin period, the (literature), 146 

" Latin right," 299 

Latin and Teutonic races, contest 
between, 213 

Latinism, 8 

Latium, Plain of, 25 

Law, Roman devotion to, 33 ; early 
Roman, 41-43; in Gaul, 211; 
Julian laws, 225-226; under the 
Empire, 297-299; a legacy to the 
world, 315 

Legates, 193 

Legion, composition of a, 98, 172 

Legionaries, the, 98 

Legiones (Leon), 221 

Lemures, 37 

Leon, 221 

Lepidus, 128, 163 

Lesbia, 143 

Levies for army, 97 

Lex, the, 179 

Lex Claudia, 67 

Liberty, love of, 33; religious, 270 

Libraries, 168, 243, 283 

Licinian laws, 86 

Licinius (tax-gatherer in Gaul), 191, 


Licinius Macer (annalist), 150 
Lictors, 30, 282 
Ligurian cavalry, 98 

Lilybseum, 46 

Limes Trans-Rhenanus, 264 ; Rhsetian, 

Linz, 264 

Lippe, 216 

Literature, early Roman, 34 ; begin- 
nings of, 75 ; of the Republic, 142- 
151 ; in Rome under Augustus, 
231 ; patrons, 232 ; the State and, 
241, 243; golden age of (" Augus- 
tan"), 242; popularity of, under 
the Empire, 286 ; and tyranny, 287, 
its eclipse, 287; freedom of, 289; 
lack of originality, 291 

Livia Drusilla, 227, 228 

Livia, house of, 296 

Livii, the, 72 

Livius Andronicus, 74 

Livy and the foundation of Rome, 
1 7 ; and political equality, 30 ; as 
historian, 150, 151 ; freedom ac- 
corded to, 232 ; and Tacitus com- 
pared, 289 

Loans, 131 

Local government in Roman provinces, 
6 t 

Logos, the Divine, 300 

Lombards, 213, 217 

London (Londinium), 260, 282 

London, modern, Roman architecture 
in, 251 

Longinus, 94 

Lorch, 264 

Lucan, Latinity of, 9 ; and Spain, 
220, 290 ; and republicanism, 242, 
273 ; the Pharsalia, 288 

Lucca, conference at, 119 

Lucceius, 145 

Lucian, 290 

Lucilius, 237 

Lucius, 228 

Lucretia, 33 

Lucretius and Epicurean philosophy, 
139; quoted, 140, 141; as poet, 
141, 142, 243; a free poet, 232; 
Vergil's use of, 236 

Lucrine Lake, 186 

Lucullus, 153 

Lucullus, gardens of, 255 



Ludians, 307 

Lugdunensis, 210 

Lugdunum (Lyons), 210, 211, 262, 


Lupercalia, 125 
Lusitania, 221 
Lutetia, 211 
Luxury, 72, 134, 136 
Lycaonia, 193 
Lycia, 194 

Lyons. See Lugdunum 
Lytton, Lord, 279 

MAAS, the, 263 

Macedonia, 56, 59, 61, 193, 202, 


Macedonian War, Second, 54 
Macedonian War, Third, 65 
Macrobius, 133 
Maecenas, Octavian's agent at Rome, 

129, 165; his rank, 181 ; a poet, 

232 ; and literary patronage, 233 ; 

and Vergil, 234; and Horace, 237, 


Magistracy, the, 41, 72; magistracies, 

Magistrates, 30, 32, 62, 179, 181, 

190, 311 
Magnesia, 56 
Mainz, 216, 219, 263 
Maison Carree, 251 
Mamurra, 135 
Manes, 37 

Manilius (tribune), 109 
Maniples, battle formation, 29, 97; 

number of men, 98 
Mantua, Vergil and, 233, 234 
Marble, 188 

Marbod, King, 217, 219 
Marcellus, nephew of Augustus, 1 66 ; 

probable successor to Augustus, 

175 ; married to Julia, 227 ; death, 

228 ; in Vergil, 235 
Marcellus opposed to Caesar, 118, 120 
Marcellus, Theatre of, 251, 293 
Marcomanni, 217 
Marcomannia, 309 
Marcus, 164 
Marius, Gaius, and reform, 90 ; chosen 


as officer against Jugurtha, 93 ; 
elected consul, 93 ; commands the 
army in Africa, 93 ; re-elected 
consul, 94 ; chief magistrate of the 
state, 94 ; defeats the Teutons and 
Cimbri, 94 ; and the land, 95 ; 
and the senate, 95 ; and a pro- 
fessional army, 96 ; massacre by, 
and death, 104 ; Caesar and, 109 

Marius the younger, 105 

Mark Antony. See Antony 

Marriage, 80; marriage laws, 226 

Mars, 36 

Mars, priests of. See Salii 

Mars the Avenger, 198; Temple of, 

Mars' woodpeckers, 38 

Marsians, 13, 28 

Martial, 220, 278, 289 

Martyrdoms of Christians, 301 

Masinissa, 57, 208 

Mater Matuta, shrine of, 152, 250 

Materialism and religion, 139 

Mau, Prof., 296 

Mauretania, 194, 208, 269 

Mausoleum, friezes of the, 246 

Maxentius, 302 

Maximin the Thracian, 179, 306 

Media Atropatene, 199 

Medicine, 290 

Mediomatrici, the, 212 

Mediterranean fleet, 186 

Mediterranean, Roman command of 
the, 56 

Mediterranean worship, prehistoric, 38 

Melville, G. J. W., 279 

Memmius, 92 

Menander, 76 

Mercury, 39 

Merida, 221 

Mesopotamia, 107, 267 

Messalina, 138, 224, 255 

Messalla, M. Valerius, 233, 240 

Messengers, imperial, 196 

Messiah, the, 269 

"Messianic Eclogue," Vergil's, 160 

Messina, 47, 209 

Metaphysics, 300 

Metaurus, River, 52 


Metellus family, 75 

Metellus, Q., 92, 95, 153 

Metellus, Q. Cascilius, 226 

Metz, 212 

Meyer, Dr. Edouard, 171 

Michael Angelo, 244, 251 

Milan, Edict of, 302, 313 

Militarism, 302 

Military despotism, 183 

Military service under Gaius Gracchus, 
88; under the Republic, 96-97; 
Roman citizens and, 184; Italians 
and, 196; Jews exempt, 268; bar- 
barians and, 311 

Milo, 119 

Milvian Bridge, 313 

Minden, 219 

Minerals, 188 

Minerva, 39, 79 

Mines, 117, 131, 221; in Gaul, 212 

Mint at Lyons, 211 

Misenum, 186 

Mithradates, King of Pontus, 60, 103 ; 
massacre by, 6 5 ; duration of war 
against, 107: defeated by Pompeius, 
109; portrait on coin, 158 

Mithradatic War, 103 

Mithraism, 201, 299, 308 

Modena, 163 

Mcesia, 194, 220, 265 

Mogontiacum (Mainz), 263 

Moles Hadriani, 294 

Mommsen, Theodor, on Greece and 
Rome, 10 ; on Roman religion, 40 ; 
on Roman luxury, 72 ; on Cassar, 
112; on the Gauls, 115; on 
Augustus, 198 

Monaco, monument to Augustus at, 

Monarchy, Caesar and, 124; hereditary, 
175; Augustus and the, 183; growth 
of, 277 

Money, 313 

Monotheism, 207, 303 

Morality, 79, 136, 138 

Morocco. See Mauretania 

Mosaics, 158, 247, 296, 316 

Moselle, the, 215 

Mucianus, 274 

Mule and tent money, 190 
Mummius, 155, 247 
Munda, 123 

Municipal government, 284 
Municipal life, 195 
Municipal senators, 311 
Municipia, 28 
Mural painting, 152 
Music in schools, 286 
Musonius Rufus, 302 
Mysia. See Moesia 
Mythology, early Roman, 36, 37, 38. 
See also Religion 


Nsevius, 75 

Naples, 134, 251, 296 

Naples, Bay of, 283 

Narbonne, 210 

Narcissus, 256 

Nations, wandering of the, 309 

Natural law, 298 

Nature-worship, 240 

Navy, 48, 186, 187 

Neolithic culture, 14 

Nepos, 150 

Nero, Suetonius on, 162, 256, 306; 
unpopular, 177; Petronius satirises, 
242 ; the historians and, 254 ; his 
Golden House, 256 ; murders, 256 ; 
attempts upon his mother's life, 257 ; 
story of his death, 257 ; posthumous 
honours, 259 ; and the Jews, 268 ; 
accession, 272; administration, 272- 
273 ; his fall, 273 ; entertainments, 
279; tyranny, 287; and Seneca, 
291 ; Greek curio-hunting, 293 ; 
Christian persecution, 301 

Nero, Claudius, 227 

Nero, colossus of, 282 

Nerva, 179, 275, 276, 289 

Nicolaus, 206 

Nicomedia, 312 

Nicopolis, 202 

Nile, the, 204 

Ninth Legion, 122, 260 

Niobe, 241 

Nismes, Temple of, 251 

Nobility, 223, 224 



Nola, io5 

Nomads, Northern, 197 
Noricum, 194, 220 
Northern descents on the Mediter- 
ranean peoples, 213 
Numa, 19 
Numantia, 85 
Numidia, 92, 208 
Numidian cavalry, 52, 98 
Nymphs, 37 

OCEAN, the, 210, 213, 217 

Octavia, 126, 129, 138, 175, 224, 
228, 235 

Octavius, (tribune), 87 

Octavius, Octavian. See Augustus 

Odenathus, 307 

Odoacer, 314 

Officialism. See Bureaucracy 

Oil, free, 308 

Olympia, 201 

Olympian mythology, 207, 240 

Omens, 32, 139 

Opimius, L., 92 

Ops Consiva, 37, 38 

Oratory, 144, 147, 148 

Orestes (sculpture), 249 

Oriens, 312 

Ornament in sculpture, 249 ; painted, 

Orodes, 200 

Osiris, 203 

Ostia, 12, 27, 255 

Otho, 273 

Ovid, Latinity of, 9; and Augustus, 
169; and the defeat of Parthia, 
199; and the gods, 225; an im- 
moral writer, 240 ; and the loves of 
the gods, 240 ; and nature-worship, 
240 ; typical of the civilisation of 
his day, 241 ; as a barrister, 241 ; 
banishment, 242 ; and the younger 
Julia, 242 ; his character, 242 

Oysters, Lucrine, 187 

PACUVIUS, 76, 138 
Pagan-Christian rites, 304 
Painting (art), 152, 296 
Pais, Prof. Ettore, 42 


Palatine Hill, 25, 280 

Palatine, the, 168 

Palazzo dei Conservatori, 294 

Pales (god), 36 

Palestine, 268 

Palmyra, 282, 295, 306, 307, 308 

Pamphylia, 193 

Pannonia, 193, 220 

Pannonian and Illyrian revolt, 184, 


Pantheon, the, 251, 294 
Paphlagonia, 193 
Parilia, 36 
Paris, 211 
Parisii, the, 211 
Parthenon frieze, 249 
Parthia, 247, 266, 267, 269 
Parthians, the, 107, 125, 129, 197- 

200, 259 
Party system started by the Gracchi, 


Pasiteles, 155 
Passports, 196 
" Patavinity," 1 5 1 
Patras, 202 

Patriarchal system, 25, 26 
Patricians, 14, 25, 30, 43, 167, 272, 


Patriciate, the, 224 

Patriotism, 231 

Patronage in literature, 232 

Patrons of art, 246, 247 

Patronus, or champion, 176, 195 

Paul, St., 207, 300 ; appeal to Caesar, 

Paulinus, Suetonius, 260 

Pausanias, 290 

"Pax," 1 66 

Pax Augusta, 209 

Pax Julia (Beja), 221 

Pax Romana, 61, 186 

Peace under Augustus, 166; Augus- 
tan Altar of Peace ("Tellus Group"), 
244, 245, 248, 251 ; in the Anto- 
nine age, 303 ; and defence, 309 

Pelignians, 13 

Penates, 37 

Pensions for soldiers, 99, 185 

People, the, 179 


Peraea, 194 

Pergamum, 55 ; Attalids of, 246 

Pericles, 157 

Perseus, 56 

Persians, 307 

Perspective in sculpture, 248 

Pertinax, 306 

Perugia, 129, 196 

Perusine War, 227 

Peter, St., 300 

Petronius Arbiter, 138, 242, 278, 


Petronius the legate, 205 
Pharisaism, 207 
Pharisees, the, 269 
Pharsalus, Battle of, 121 
Philemon, 76 
Philip of Macedon, 50, 54 
Philip the Arabian, bust of, 292 
Philippi, Battles of, 128 
Philistine coast towns, 205 
Philistinism in Roman art, 246 
Philo Judaeus, 290, 300 
Philomela, 241 
Philosophy, 139, 279, 286, 290, 299, 


Phrebe, 230 
Phraates, 198, 200 
Phrygian corybants, 139 
Piacenza, 53 
Piazza., 252 
Piety, 235 
Pilate, Pontius, 206 
Pile-dwellings, 14 
Pilum, the, 98 
Piracy, 59, 106, 108 
Pisidia, 193 
Piso C. Calpurnius, 80 
Piso (consul with Augustus), 1 74 
Placidia, Empress, 315 
Plague, the, 290, 307 
Plantation system of slaves, 7 1 
Platsea, 201 

Plautius Silvanus, Aulus, 259 
Plautus, 76, 77, 138 
Plebeians, 14, 25, 30, 43 
Plebiscite, the, 174, 179 
Plebs, secession of the, 30 
Pliny (the elder) and Etruscan art, 

20; art critic, 249; as compiler, 

Pliny (the younger), history in, 195, 
278 ; and the emperors, 242 ; con- 
dition of Italy, 196; letters, 270; 
benevolence, 283 ; and schools, 
286 ; and reading, 287 ; and tolera- 
tion, 301 

Plutarch, 290 

Poetry of the Republic, 142 ; of the 
Augustan age, 233-243 ; of the 
Empire, 288-289 

Polemo, 200 

Police, 182, 1 86 

Political system, reform of, and the 
Gracchi, 89 

Pollio, Asinius, 160, 168, 232, 234 

Polybius, 66, 150 

Polycarp, 300 

Polygnotus, 296 

Pompeian law, 120 

Pompeii, 134, 195, 283, 285, 296, 

Pompeius, Gneius, the Great, and new 
provinces, 60 ; and the monarchy, 
100 ; supporter of Sulla, 105, 108 ; 
ally of Crassus, 108 ; ruler of the 
sea, 109; puts down piracy, 109; 
defeats Mithradates, 1 09 ; and 
Caesar, 114, 119; political in- 
capacity, 1 1 8 ; sole consul, 119] 
flies before Caesar, 121; murdered 
122; and the walls of Jerusalem, 
123; his wealth, 132; Vergil and, 

Pompeius, Sextus, a pirate, 123; 
joined by "patriots," 128; defeat 
of, 129; his allies against Augustus, 
164 ; and Sicily, 209; reconciliation 
with Augustus, 226 

Pomponius Mela, 290 

Pont du Card, 294 

Pontifex mctximus, 32. See also Caesar 

Pontus, 60, 193, 194, 200, 312 

Poor children, Pliny's benefaction for, 

Pope, the, 315 

Population, decline of, 313 

Populus Romanus, 174, 177, 179 



Pork, free, 308 

Portraiture, Etruscan, 152 ; dread of, 
156; under the Republic, 156- 
157; under Augustus, 248-250; 
under the Empire, 292 

Portugal, 221 

Portus Julius, 187 

Post, 196 

Postumus, 306 

Pottery, Etruscan, 20; Gallic, 114; 
Aretine, 159 

" Prsefects, Praetorian," 312 

Praeneste, 251, 296 

Prcetor peregrinus, 298 

Prcetor urbanus, 298 

Praetorian guard, the, Augustus and, 
172 ; dominates politics, 175 ; 
commanded by prefects, 182; its 
strength, 182, 185; murder Caligula 
and choose Claudius, 271; choose 
Nero, 272 ; and the succession, 
2 73> 36 ; Vespasian and, 274; 
lawyers as prefects, 309 

Praetorium, 206 

Praetors, 30, 31, 41, 63, 181, 182, 

193. 2 99 

Prasina Fractio, 280 
Praxiteles, 155 
Prefects, of the Fleet, 187 ; of the 

City, 182; of the Guard, 182; of 

Egypt, 203, 204 
President of the state, 134 
Press censorship, 163, 289 
Prices, Edict of, 310 
Priests, colleges of, 32 ; and the law, 

41 ; and dining, 133 ; High Priests, 


Primus, M., 177 
" Princeps," 171 ; origin of the princi- 

pate, 177; Augustus and the office, 


"Princes," 124 
" Princes of the Youth," 181 
Principate, the, 177, 270 
Principes, the, 29 
Priscus, Helvidius, 300 
Prisoners, Roman, as slaves, 197 
Probus, 179, 308 
Proconsuls, 193 


Procurators, 194 

Proletariat, the, 132. See also Populus 

Propertius and the Parthians, 199; 
and Maecenas, 233; as poet, 239- 
240; loss of patrimony, 243 

Property-tax, 189; in Gaul, 190 

Propraetors, 194 

Provence, 210 

Provinces, early, 58; acquisition and 
government, 59-65; local autonomy, 
61 ; corruption, 64 ; self-supporting 
and profitable, 188; taxes, 190; of 
the Roman world, 193 ; under the 
senate, 193 ; Caesar's provinces, 
193; lists of provinces, 193-194; 
under Diocletian, 312. See also the 
names of provinces as Spain, Gaul, 

Provincia, 59 

Prudishness, 80 

Ptolemy, alliance with, 47 

" Publican and sinner," 64 

Publicans (Publicanf), 64, 207 

Punic War, First, 48 ; Second, 49 ; 
Third, 57 

Pupienus, 306 

Puteoli, 134 

Pyrrhic War, 44 

Pyrrhus, 45, 5 1 

QILESTORS, 66, 133, 1 88 
Quintilian, 220, 290 
Quintus Curtius, 33 
Quintus Fabius, 51 


Raphael, 244 

Rates, 196 

Raudine Plain, 94 

Ravenna, 187, 315 

Reading, 287 

Realism in Roman art, 157, 248, 249 

Red Sea, 204 

Regensburg, 264 

Religion, early Roman, 32, 35 ; and 
Greek mythology, 35, 39; gods, 36 
ef seq. ; its nature, 39 ; business 
nature of, 40; becomes cosmopolitan 
and debased, 79; State religion 


under the Republic, 133 ; formal 
and political, 138; formulae, 139; 
materialism and the State religion, 
139; superstition and rites, 139; 
Augustus and, 201 ; of Gaul, 211; 
and art, 248 ; and architecture, 251 ; 
Claudius and, 272 ; in schools, 286 ; 
and international law, 298; under 
the Empire, 299; Christianity, 299 

Religions, conflict of, 299 

Religious liberty under Trajan, 301 

Remi, the, 212 

Renaissance, Roman art and the, 244, 


Republic, the, causes for its end, 

Republican civilisation, later, 130 

Republican constitution, 31 

Republicanism, Diocletian and, 3 1 1 

Revenue, public, 192 

Rex, 125 

Rhaetia, 194, 220 

Rhaetian limes, 264 

Rheims, 210, 212 

" Rhetoric," 286 

Rhine, the, Caesar's expeditions, 117; 
flotillas, 187 ; Augustus crosses, 
212, 216; as frontier, 215, 218, 
263; Rhine legions, 219, 263; 
Limes Trans-Rhenanus, 264; inva- 
sions of barbarians, 306, 314 

Rhodes, 55, 132, 194, 247 

Rich and poor under the Republic, 

Ricimer the Suevian, 314 

Ridgeway, Prof. Wm., 2, 14 

Riegl, Alois, 244 

Rimini, 196 

Roads, Italy, 1 96 ; France, 211; im- 
perial, 278 

Robigus, 37 

Roman Church, ritual, &c. of the, 
303 ; a legacy of Rome, 315 

Roman conquests, 44 et seq. 

Roman Empire under Augustus, 
greatness of the, 221 

Roman Government, the, and Chris- 
tianity, 300-301 
Roman history, views of, 3, 4, 5 ; 

historians and, 4, 7, 8 ; worthless- 
ness of much early history, 23 ; 
Greek influence in manufacturing, 
24; unreliability of, before 390 B.C., 
24; chronological summary, 317- 


Roman Peace, the, 61, 186 

Roman society, viciousness of, in the 
age of conquest, 80 

Roman suzerainty, 56; annexations, 
56 ; provinces, 58 ; government, 61 

Roman Wall, the (Britain), 261 

Romans, origin of the, 1 3 ; early 
Romans as warriors, 26 ; conquests 
by, 28 ; the early Romans, 32 ; the 
Roman character, 33, 43 ; virtues, 
33 ; accomplishments, 34 ; religion, 
35; agriculture, 36; law, 41 ; a 
fighting people, 54 

" Rome and Augustus," cult of, 201 

Rome and Greece, resemblances 
between, i ; Greek influence, 6, 7, 
1 1 . See also Art, Literature 

Rome, and the making of Europe, 5 ; 
as a city-state, 6 ; its greatness, 10 ; 
origin of, 16 ; under the Etruscans, 
17; Etruscan princes expelled, 23 ; 
and the Latin plain, 12 ; and the 
control of the Mediterranean, 1 3 ; 
the Seven Kings of, 19; legends and 
early traditions, 1 7 ; the earliest city, 
25 ; political equality, 30 ; constitu- 
tion, 30 ; the imperial city, 65 ; 
wealth, 65 ; taxation, 66 ; finance, 
66 ; the populace, 68 ; corn-supply, 
69; slavery, 70; equality, 71 ; luxury 
72 ; civilisation, 72 ; Greek influence, 
73> 74) 81 j causes of degeneracy, 
80; individual domination, 83; end 
of the Republic, 1 1 8 ; and Caesar, 
123; wealth and social conditions 
under the Republic, 132; unhealthy, 
135 ; social life, 136 ; streets, 152 ; 
improvements under Augustus, 167; 
magistracy, 182; city prefect, 182; 
reform of, by Augustus, 223 ; re- 
generation of Roman society, 225, 
231 ; patriotism, 231 ; Horace and, 
239; and art, 243; rebuilding, 244, 



248 ; architecture, 250 ; the weak- 
ness of the Empire, 271; riches 
and loss of power, 278; life of the 
city described by satirists, 278; 
imperial Rome, 278; amusements, 
279 ; advanced civilisation, 280 ; its 
splendours, 280; buildings and 
peoples, 282 ; as a place of abode, 
296 ; the Eternal City, 304 ; 
Aurelian Wall, 307 

Romulus and Remus, 17 

Romulus, hut of, 153 

Roofing, 250 

Roumania (Dacia), 265 

Roxolani, 307 

Rubicon, the, 120 

Russia, 197, 213, 


Saale, the, 216 

Sabines, 13 

Sacred Mount, 30 

Sacred Way, 282 

Sacrifices, human, 40, 2 1 1 

Sadducees, 269 

Saguntum, 49 

St. Angelo, Castle of, 294 

St. Bernard Pass, 220 

Saints, Christian, 304 

Salamis, 201 

Salaries of officials, 190 

Salii, 34, 39 

Salinator, M. Livius, 74 

Sallust, 150 

Salt, free, 308 

Saltus, Teutoburgiensis, 218 

Salvage brigade, 131 

Samaria, 205 

Samnite Wars, 13, 28, 44; rebellion, 


Sanhedrin, 207 
Saracens, 307 
Saragossa, 221 
Sarcophagi, 247 
Sardinia, 48, 53, 59, 6 1, 193 
Sarmatia, province, 309 ; Sarmatian 

cavalry, 266 ; captive Sarmatians, 

Sarmatians, the, and Ovid, 243 


Sarmizegethusa, 266 

Satires, 237 

Saturn, 38; Temple of, 251 

Saturninus, 95 

Saxons, 213, 309 

Scaevola, 33, 84 

Scapula, Ostorius, 260 

Scaurus, 91, 92, 94 

Sceptre of ivory, the, 2 2 

Schoolmasters, 286 

Schools. See Education 

Scipio Africanus, 52, 53, 58 

Scipios, the, 76, 83, 123 

Scopas, 155, 250 

Scotland, 261 

Scribonia, 226, 227 

Sculpture of the Republic, 155-157; 
revival of, 200 ; the Greeks and 
Roman sculpture, 245 ; copies and 
imitations, 291; busts, 292; bas- 
reliefs, 292 ; narrative on columns, 

Sea-power, the Romans and, 187 

Sebaste (Samaria), 205 

Secession of the Plebs, the, 30 

Secular games, 238 

Sejanus, 271 

Semitic question, the, 268 

Sena, victory of, 75 

Senate, the, beginnings, 25 ; wisdom 
of, 28; its constitution, 31; and 
Pyrrhus, 46 ; aristocracy and govern- 
ment, 72 ; weakness under late Re- 
public, 82 ; the Gracchi and, 86, 
89, 90 ; and the Jugurthan War, 
91 ; and Marius, 95 ; under Augus- 
tus, 167, 169, 175-179, 224; 
position and powers under the 
Empire, 179; military affairs, 184; 
under Vespasian, 274 ; under Domi 
tian and later emperors, 275; sup- 
planted by Diocletian, 312 

Senators forbidden foreign commerce, 
67, 132; as landowners, 67, 132; 
flee from Cassar, 121; tax farmers, 
132 ; hereditary, 132, 134 

Seneca the younger and Nero, 272, 
290, 291 ; ethics of, 303 

Senecas, the, Spaniards, 220, 290 


Senones, the, 212 

Sens, 212 

Serapis, 139 

Sergi, G., on the Mediterranean race, 

Sertorius, 105, 107 

Sestertius, 34 

Severi, the, 311 

Severus, Alexander, 306, 311 

Severus, Septimius, 306 

Seviri, Augustales, 196 

Shakespeare and Caesar, 112 

Shapur, the Persian King, 306 

Sheep, 36, 70 

Shepherds, 71 

Ships, 131 

Shophets, 49 

Shows, public, 137 

Sicily, Pyrrhus and, 46 ; the Romans 
and, 47, 51, 52; acquisition of, 59, 
60, 61; corn-supply of, 190; a 
province, 193; colonies in, 195 ; its 
history, 208209 

Sidon, 247 

Sienckiewicz, Henryk, 279 

Siesta, the, 136 

Silanus, 94 

Silius, 255 

Silius Italicus, 287, 288 

Silures, the, 260 

Silver coinage, 34, 154 

Sirmio, 143, 296 

Slavery of early Rome, 70 ; and 
immorality, 79 ; Roman society and, 

Slaves, Sardinian, 53 ; risings among, 
1 06; Gallic conquest and, 117; 
training and use of, 131; under 
Augustus, 181 ; body-guard, 182, 
184; and the fleet, 187; tax on 
sales, 190; Greek slaves and art, 

Slavs, 214 

Social conditions under the Republic, 


Social laws, 226 
Social war, 102 

Society under the Republic, 132 ; 
regeneration of, by Augustus, 225; 

under the Empire, 279; grades of, 

Soldiers. See Army 

Soldiers, tribune of the, 133 

Solon, 19 

Solon's code, 42 

Soudan, the, 204, 205 

Spain, Hamilcar Barca and, 49 ; 
Roman army in, 51; Scipio re- 
conquers, 5 2 ; ceded by Carthage, 
53 ; a province, 59 ; incessant 
warfare, 61 ; defeat of Sertorius, 
105, 107 ; Caesar and, 121 ; Augus- 
tus and, 169, 172, 193; civilised, 
209 ; Augustus and an outbreak in, 
210; under Augustus, 220-221; 
diocese, 312; the Vandals and, 

Spalato, 316 

Spanish army, revolt of the, against 

Nero, 258 
Sparta,. 1 94, 201 
Spartacus the gladiator, 106 
Statius, 288 

Statues, 243, 291 ; portraits, 156 
Stephanus, 156, 249 
Sternness, early Roman, 33 
"Stipendiary " states, 60 
Stirlingshire, 262 
Stoic republicanism, 123, 275 
Stoicism, 139, 207, 231, 300, 302 
Strabo, 195, 202, 290 
Strong, Mrs. A., and Roman art, 157, 

244, 292, 294 
"Structor," 137 
Strzygowski, Josef, 249 
Suabia, 216 

Succession, imperial, 229, 254 
Suetonius and the early Empire, 4 ; on 

Caesar, 1 1 3 ; as historian, 162,275; 

and the cowardice of Augustus, 182; 

quoted on military science, 184; on 

the tastes of Augustus, 252 ; on 

Nero, 256, 259; studious, 287; 

freedom allowed to, 289 
Suevi, the, 215, 307, 309 
Sulla, L. Cornelius, makes Cisalpine 

Gaul a province, 59 : officer to 

Marius, 93 ; succeeds Marius, 101 ; 



his character, i o i ; master of Rome, 
103, 105 ; and the Mithradatic 
War, 1 04 ; returns to Rome and 
defeats the Samnites, 105 ; death, 
105; and the columns of the Temple 
of Olympian Zeus, 153; failure of, 

Sulla, Faustus, 123 

Sulpicius, Rufus, 1 03 

Sumptuary laws, 226 

Sungod, the, 295, 306 

Surrentum, 251 

Swabians, 213 

Switzerland, 220 

Sword, the Roman, 98 

Sygambri, 216 

Syracuse, 209 

Syria, 60, 169, 200, 267, 273 

Syrian War, 65 

TABULARIUM, the, 153 

Tacitus and the imperial regime, 4,11, 
242, 273 ; and Augustus, 162, 163, 
187; and the Senate, 179; the 
Gertnania, 214; and Livia, 228; 
and historians, 253; and Britain, 
260; the satire of, 275; the "silver 
Latin" of, 287 ; and the history of 
his own times, 288 ; as prose writer 
and historian, 289, 290 

Tacitus, Claudius (Emperor), 308 

Tanagra, 201 

Tarentum, 45 

Tarquin, 24 

Tarquins, the, 19 

Tarraco, 221 

Tarraconensis, 221 

Tarshish, 49 

Tartars, 214, 309 

Tax -farming, 132, 191 

Tax-gatherers, 191 

Taxes (stipendium) from provincial terri- 
tories, 64 ; freedom from (tributum), 
1 88, 189; in kind, 190; indirect, 
196; under the Empire, 270, 276 ; 
collection of, 273 ; increase of, 31 1 ; 
exemption of certain classes, 311; 
Constantine's burden of, 313 

Teachers, 286 


" Tellus Group," the, 244, 250 

Temple, the, Jerusalem, 268 

Temples, 67, 152, 166, 168, 196, 243, 
250, 251, 280, 282, 294 

Temples to Augustus, 201 

Tenth Legion, the, 123, 150, 269 

Terence, 76, 77, 138 

Terentia, 138 

Terentius Lucanus, senator, 76 

Terminus, 37 

Terra-cotta ornaments, Etruscan, 21, 

" Terramare " civilisation, 14 

Tertullian, 316 

Tetricus, 308 

Teutonic and Latin races, contrast 
between, 213, 214. See also 

Teutons, the, invasion by, 93 ; de- 
feated by Marius, 94 

Thamugadi, 283 

Thapsus, 123 

Theatre of Marcellus, 2 5 1 

Theatres, 75 

Theatrical performances, 137 

Thebes, 202 

Theocritus, 144, 233 

Theodosius, 313 

Thespise, 201 

Thessalonica, 202 

Third Legion, 283 

Thrace, 194, 197, 312 

Thrasea, Pstus, 273, 300 

Thurii, 106 

Thusnelda, 219 

Tiber, the River, 1 2 ; and navigation, 
17, 187 ; offerings to the, 40 

Tiberius, Suetonius on, 162, 306; in 
the triumph of Augustus, 166; 
suppresses the comitia, 174 ; 
nominated to succeed Augustus, 
175, 229; as general, 184; over- 
lord in Asia, 195; and Germany 
216, 263; his mother Livia, 227 
banishment, 228; rivals, 228 
triumphs, 239 ; character, 253 
and enlargement of the Empire 
2 59 > government, 271 ; retirement 
271 ; and "delation," 272 ; junior 


colleague to Augustus, 276 ; tyranny, 
271,287; classic tendencies of his 
reign, 293 

Tibullus, 233, 239-240, 243 

Tibur, 251 

Ticino, 51 

Tigellinus, 272, 273 

Tigris, the, 267 

Timgad, 283 

Tiridates, 198 

Tithes, 6 1, 191 

Titus, 268, 274, 277 

Titus, arch of, 269, 282, 293; baths 
of, 293 

Tivoli, 296 

Toga, the, 21, 230, 261 

Tomi, 242 

Torcello, mosaics of, 316 

Trade and the rise of Rome, 17; the 
sea and, 1 96 ; fluctuation forbidden, 

Trajan a Spaniard, 220 ; continues the 
Rhaetian limes, 264 ; and the Dacian 
Wars, 265, 266; and the Eastern 
provinces, 267; campaigns in person, 
270; industrious, 270; soldierly 
qualities, 271, 275; becomes Em- 
peror, 275; and the senate, 275; 
Rome under, 279 ; Timgad founded 
by, 283 ; and Pliny, 287 ; freedom 
of letters under, 289 ; art under, 
2 93 > government as shown in his 
correspondence with Pliny, 301 

Trajan's column, 245, 248, 249, 266, 


Trasimene, Lake, 51 
Treason, 272 
Trebia, 51 
"Treks," 214 
Treveri, the, 215 
Treverorum, Augusta. See Trier 
Triballia, 194 
Tribes, 30 

Tribunes, the, 30, 31, 90, 125, 181 
Tribute, 191, 260; on Gaul, 212 
" Tricliniarch," 137 
Tridentum (Trent), 220 
Trier, 210, 215, 263, 282 
Triumph, the, 183 

Triumphal arch, the, 154 

Triumphal Road, 280 

Trumpets, 36 

Tullius, Servius, 19 

Tullus Hostilius, 16 

Tunisian coast islands, 208 

Turin, 196, 220 

Tusculum, 134 

Twelve Tables, the, 24, 42, 297, 299 

Tyranny, 287, 288 

Tyrol, Austrian, 197 

UBII, the, 215 
Umbrians, 13, 28 
University professors, 286 
Usury, laws against, 103 
Utica, 123 


Valerius, 33 

Valerius Asiaticus, 255 

Vandals, 213, 307, 309, 314 

Varius, 232, 233 

Varro, 51, 138 

Varus, Quintilius, defeat of, 184, 217, 
218, 230; legate of Syria, 206 

Vases, 159 

Vault, the, 153 

Vehicles, 196 

Velleius, 217, 218 

Venatio, 279 

Venus and Rome, Temple of, 282 

Venus, Augustus descended from, 224 ; 
temple to, 166 

Venus Genetrix, by Arcesilaus, 156, 

Venus, Medici, 156 

Venus, Paphian, 39 

Ver Sacrum, 40 

Vercingetorix, 1 1 6 

Vergil, Latinity of, 9 ; " Messianic 
Eclogue," 1 60; and the Portus 
Julius, 187 ; and the Parthians, 199 ; 
and Augustus, 225, 234; and the 
Augustan age, 231, 232; and cen- 
sorship, 233; and Atticus, 233; 
birth and education, 233; and 
Maecenas, 234; Bucolics, 233; 
Georgics, 234; sEneid, 235-236; 

35 1 


and Rome, 235-236 ; loss of 
patrimony, 236, 243; position, 288 ; 
and epic poetry, 288 

Verres, 209 

Verulamium, 260 

Vespasian and press censorship, 163; 
in Britain, 259; and Germany, 
264; and Mo2sia, 265; subdues 
Palestine, 268; becomes Caesar, 
274 ; origin, 274 ; government, 274 ; 
Rome under, 279; and Pliny the 
elder, 287 ; art under, 293 

Vesta, 38 ; Temple of, 152 

Vestals, state, 38 

Vetera Castra (Xanten), 216, 219, 

Via Appia. See Appian Way 

Via Claudia, 263 

Vicars, 312 

Vice, 133, 138 

Villa Albani, 293 

" Villanova " period, 1 4 

Villas, 251, 295 

Viminacium, 266 

Vindex, 257, 262 

Vipsania, 227 

Virginia, 33 

Viriathus, 84 

Virtue, Roman, 33, 80 

Visigoths, 314 

Vitellius, 262, 273, 289 

Vitruvius, 290 

Voluptas, 139 

Vopiscus, 307 

WALES, 260 

Walls, Roman, 261, 262 

War and culture, 73 

Warfare, annals of, in history, 306 

Watchmen, 186 

Wax images, 156, 248 

Wealth under the Republic, 1 3 1 

Weser, the, 216, 219 

Wickhoff, Franz, and Roman art, 157, 

244, 293 

Wiesbaden (Aquae Mattiacae), 264 
Wine, 136 
Wolf, the, as totem, 1 9 ; the mother 

wolf, 38 
Women, influence of, 223; wickedness 

of, under the Empire, 254 
World-state, the, 278, 308 
Worth, 264 

XANTEN. See Vetera Castra 
YORK, 261 

S, 207 
Zama, 53 
Zealots, the, 268 
Zela, 123 

Zeno the Stoic, 300 
Zenobia, Queen, 306, 307, 308 
Zeus, Olympian, Temple of, 153 
Zeuxis, 296 

Zion, Temple of Jupiter on, 269 
Zuyder Zee canal, 216 








Stobart, John Clarke 

The grandeur that was Rome.